Germany’s Jessica von Bredow-Werndl claimed an emphatic victory at the FEI Dressage World Cup Final in Leipzig, Germany, tonight (9 April). The reigning Olympic and European gold medallist added another championship win to her remarkable tally with TSF Dalera BB with a huge score of 90.84%.
“Dalera was just amazing, as always, but today it was very, very special,” said an emotional Jessica, who also won Thursday’s short grand prix with the 14-year-old Easy Game mare.
“It’s difficult to find the right words to describe Dalera; she leaves her heart in there for me, for us,” added Jessica, referring to her second child who is due to be born in August. “This is something you can’t ask for and what she offers is so special.”
This is Jessica’s last competition with Dalera before taking a baby break this summer, and admitted it was “a little sad as Dalera is in such good shape”.
“We will use the summer to have a vacation and to keep on doing conditioning training and cantering in the forest – everything we both love, and I already can’t wait to come back.”
The pair’s score this evening was slightly lower than their personal best of 91.73%, that they achieved at the Tokyo Olympics in July 2021, but Jessica said their test tonight “felt better than in Tokyo”.
“The feeling she gave me was probably the best ever,” she added, and certainly their test sheet was littered with nines and 10s, mostly for the piaffe-passage and the pirouettes. This elegant mare shows such incredible willingness to work, and such impressive ability to sit and use her body while remaining beautifully relaxed that she and Jessica are simply a joy to watch.
Taking the runner-up spot was Denmark’s Cathrine Dufour, competing at her first World Cup Final. Cathrine scored 86.16% with the 10-year-old Vamos Amigos, the British-owned Vitalis son who is destined one day to become the ride of British junior champion Annabella Pidgley.
“He is only 10 and this was only the second time he has performed with a full crowd. I’m really proud of him and I think he did a super performance today,” said Cathrine.
Germany’s Isabell Werth was not quite able to hang on to the World Cup title for a fourth final in a row, but instead filled third position. It was an emotional night for Isabell, as she made her final trip into a dressage arena with the brilliant mare Weihegold OLD, who is now to be retired, aged 17.
“To retire Weihe and for her to finish at this level with such an atmosphere, it’s a great day, and to receive a standing ovation – that is what I wished for to honour her at her last competition,” said Isabell, who admitted she felt very emotional on the last centre line, when the crowds rose to show their appreciation for this stellar combination.
Danish riders filled out the top five, with Carina Cassøe Krüth producing a stunning performance with Heiline’s Danciera for 84.97% and fourth, while Nanna Skodberg Merrald was fifth with Atterupgaards Orthilia, the former British team horse under Fiona Bigwood.
The night did not go quite to plan for Britain’s Lottie Fry, who displayed masterful riding aboard Dark Legend, but finished in 17th after a tricky ride.
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