Hat-trick for Germany’s golden girl as Charlotte Dujardin scoops individual freestyle bronze; no medal for Isabell Werth

  • Jessica von Bredow-Werndl has completed a golden hat-trick to top the freestyle podium at the European Dressage Championships, with Britain’s Charlotte Dujardin repeating her Tokyo result to claim a fabulous bronze. Denmark’s Cathrine Dufour  slotted into the silver medal position — the best individual result of her career.

    However, for the first time in six years, Germany’s Isabell Werth will not feature on an individual championship podium, finishing fourth with Weihegold OLD after a couple of mistakes capped her score to 84.89%.

    Jessica von Bredow-Werndl and the stunning 14-year-old Trakehner mare TSF Dalera BB danced their way through a delightful routine to their La La Land music, scoring 91.02% with every judge having the partnership decisively in the lead. Having won freestyle bronze at the last European Dressage Championships in 2019, they have gone from strength to strength in the years since and are now the reigning Olympic and European champions.

    “I’m so grateful to have such a wonderful mare with me and I couldn’t have asked for more. She is wonderful,” said Jessica, who has now won five gold medals in the space of six weeks.

    Cathrine and the 11-year-old Bordeaux gelding Bohemian also produced a polished test to their dramatic, emotive Les Misérables soundtrack, scoring 88.43% to improve on their individual bronze medal from the grand prix special.

    European dressage championships freestyle charlotte dujardin

    Charlotte Dujardin and Gio during the freestyle at the 2021 Europeans in Hagen

    Charlotte and the diminutive 10-year-old Apache son Gio rode a stunning round to their Tokyo music, which suits this bouncy gelding down to the ground. Charlotte rode for every mark, and it was just an unfortunate mistake in their second batch of one-time changes, on their joker line, that likely cost them the silver medal. It is testament to the quality of the rest of their test that even with a major mistake they came away with 87.45%, just 1% less than their Tokyo score.

    “He tried his heart out and I couldn’t have asked for much more. I made a mistake in the last set of ones on the centre line, but he tried incredibly hard and it was more of a rider error – I waited for the music, then thought, ‘Oh no I’m not ready’, and I got in a kind of muddle. But apart from that it was super, so I’m absolutely thrilled,” said Charlotte.

    Britain’s Lottie Fry  rode another super test to secure yet another personal best of 84.72% to finish fifth, just 0.7% behind Isabell Werth. This is Lottie’s third personal best from three tests at the Europeans with the fantastic Lord Leatherdale stallion Everdale.

    Carl Hester did not have the easiest ride on the sensitive En Vogue, who was quite affected by the atmosphere at Hagen. They posted 78.37% to finish 13th.

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