Tonight’s Olympia grand prix (17 December) went the way of the Dutch as Hans Peter Minderhoud took the top spot with the 10-year-old black stallion Glock’s Dream Boy NOP.
Britain’s Charlotte Dujardin held the lead for a long time from first draw, having posted 73.03% on Carl Hester, Lady Anne Evans and Ann Cory’s 10-year-old Hawtins Delicato. But Hans Peter and the stunning Vivaldi son just edged into the lead with 73.89%, much to the excitement of the crowd.
This is Dream Boy’s first competition since WEG and his first major indoor show, being still in his first year of grand prix, but his only major error was a mistake in the two-time changes.
“I was very happy with his score tonight; he has a lot of talent and there were some things that can go better, so we can still improve a lot,” said Hans Peter, who plans to next campaign the horse at Amsterdam CDI at the end of January.
Charlotte also had a mistake in the changes with Del (above) — this time in the ones — but showed some super piaffe and lovely two-time changes.
“I’m really pleased with him — going first meant I didn’t have a chance to watch anyone else ride the new test, but I actually quite enjoyed it,” said Charlotte, referring to the new, shortened grand prix routine that was piloted here. “This was a great experience for him; he just got a bit tense towards the end.”
Germany’s Frederic Wandres completed the top three, riding the 11-year-old Dimaggio gelding Duke Of Britain to 72.63% on his first appearance at Olympia.
The next three spots were filled by Brits, with Hayley Watson-Greaves pulling out a super test to take fourth with Rubins Nite, just ahead of Richard Davison and Bubblingh in fifth. A couple of mistakes had Lara Butler and Rubin Al Asad in sixth.
All 12 combinations will go forward to compete in tomorrow night’s grand prix freestyle, which serves at the World Cup qualifier. Lara will be the first British rider on, at 8.10pm, while Charlotte will be in action at 9.20pm. Hayley will compete next, at 9.30pm, with Richard in action at 9.50pm. Hans Peter Minderhoud will be the final rider of the evening, entering the arena at 10pm.
Don’t miss our full coverage from Olympia, plus all the reaction from the new grand prix, in the 28 December issue.