Jessica von Bredow-Werndl added individual European Dressage Championships grand prix special gold to her Olympic gold with an amazing performance aboard her delightful mare TSF Dalera BB. The pair stormed into the lead from final draw with 84.27% to take a decisive victory in Hagen, Germany.
Jessica’s compatriot Isabell Werth took the silver with Weihegold OLD, scoring 81.7% for their faultless round.
“Compared to the atmosphere in Tokyo, today was totally different – there were many, many spectators, and we are not used to it anymore,” said Jessica. “I realised when we entered the arena that Dalera became even bigger – she pricked her ears and she was excited – she loves to show off.
“She was really excited when I did the extensions in the trot – I really tried not to move because otherwise it could have put her out of balance, because she was so on fire. But it’s a great feeling, especially after the Olympics that she’s still fit and so energetic.”
As in Tokyo, Denmark’s Cathrine Dufour and Britain’s Charlotte Dujardin battled for the bronze medal, but in a reversal of the Olympic result, it was Cathrine who edged her way onto the podium, posting 81.08%, less than 0.7% behind Isabell. Charlotte and the 10-year-old Apache son Gio finished fourth after a super test for 79.79%.
It may be the toughest position in which to finish, but Charlotte knew she could not have done more.
“I’m absolutely over the moon with ‘Pumpkin’,” said Charlotte. “I pretty much nearly had a clear round, so for him I’m absolutely delighted. I can’t ask for much more – he’s still a young, inexperienced horse.”
In fact, Brits filled the three spots just below the podium, with Lottie Fry producing yet another personal best aboard the flamboyant stallion Everdale to sit fifth with 78.15%. She snuck ahead of Carl Hester, who slotted into sixth with En Vogue after a brilliant round for 77.31%.
Gareth Hughes ended up 15th with Sintano Van Hof Olympia after achieving 73.72%, but although it is 15 riders who qualify for Saturday’s freestyle, only three riders per nation may go forward, meaning Gareth looks set to miss out.
More to follow…
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