The German rider, last year’s World Cup winner and also the reigning Olympic and European champion, returned to the Dressage World Cup Final with her delightful TSF Dalera BB and rose to top the leaderboard in spectacular fashion once more.
The pair scored 90.48% – the ninth time they have exceeded the 90% marker – to finish 3% ahead of runners-up Nanna Skodberg Merrald and Blue Hors Zepter.
Jessica reported that the 16-year-old Easy Game mare had been super hot during the grand prix, and although they had topped the leaderboard on that occasion, it was without the usual polish as a spicy Dalera made a few uncharacteristic mistakes. But Jessica said that on freestyle night, she didn’t do too much in the way of warming-up, and that Dalera was more rideable in the arena as they glided through their French-themed routine.
“It was really hot in there and she again was a little bit scared but she trusted me 100%, that was the difference tonight. I was confident and we were mirroring each other, she was confident and I got confident. She was excited but she trusted me from the very first step”, said Jessica.
With this win, Jessica has proved that she and Dalera are right back at the top of world dressage, following her break from competition during 2022 while she welcomed her second child. During that time, it was Lottie Fry and Glamourdale who soared to success, being crowned world champions, and it is yet to be seen who will come out on top when these two combinations meet in competition for the first time later this year.
Denmark’s Nanna Skodberg Merrald demoted Germany’s Isabell Werth to third place when she came in from last draw and produced a stunning test with Blue Hos Zepter, a new ride of just a few months for her, that scored 87.15%.
“He was really on fire. I had to be so careful all the way around, it was a bit difficult to come back after extended canter but I’m so thrilled,” she said. “My journey with him has been so short, we have only been together for four months and I have the feeling I can ask for so much more – he is amazing,” she added of the 15-year-old chestnut, a son of Nanna’s own Olympic and world championship ride Blue Hors Zack.
Isabell and DSP Quantaz completed the podium with a score of 85.76%.
It was a somewhat depleted field that came forward for the freestyle, the deciding test of the Dressage World Cup Final, after two of those considered among the challengers for the title, Ingrid Klimke (Franciskus), Marieke van der Putten (Torveslettens Titanium) and Dinja van Liere (Hermes NOP), withdrew from the competition.
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