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Strong British contingent heads Olympia dressage line-up

A strong contingent of British riders will spearhead the dressage line-up at the Olympia World Cup qualifier on 16-17 December.

All four members of the British team from this year’s European Championships in Rotterdam will be in action, with Charlotte Dujardin and Carl Hester bringing forward their top rides.

Charlotte will pilot the 10-year-old Fidermark mare Mount St John Freestyle, her double bronze medal-winner at the 2018 World Equestrian Games. Charlotte will be hoping to build on her recent second place at November’s World Cup qualifier in Lyon, France, as she campaigns Emma Blundell’s mare towards the World Cup Final in Las Vegas next April.

Carl Hester brings forward his team horse, the 11-year-old British-bred gelding Hawtins Delicato. This will be the first outing for the Diamond Hit son since his top 10 finish at the Rotterdam Europeans in August.

It will also be the first time Carl has ridden Del at Olympia himself; in 2018 Charlotte Dujardin rode him to finish a very close second to Germany’s Frederic Wandres and the British-bred DiMaggio son Duke Of Britain, who will be returning in 2019 to defend their Olympia freestyle title.

Britain’s best placed rider from Rotterdam, Gareth Hughes, will also be in action at Olympia, though he will ride the 13-year-old KK Woodstock, who has achieved several strong results this year, his first season competing at international grand prix.

Lottie Fry, who made her senior team debut in Rotterdam, will make her Olympia debut this year, bringing forward the 13-year-old Lord Leatherdale stallion Everdale, with whom she finished sixth with plus-73% at the Stuttgart CDI4* last month.

Also making her Olympia debut will be former showing champion Louise Bell, who will ride her 13-year-old Ublesco gelding Into The Blue.

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Other top British riders heading to Olympia are Lara Butler with the 17-year-old Rubin Royal gelding Rubin Al Asad and Richard Davison, riding the Lingh son Bubblingh.

Among the foreign riders is British-based Dane Anders Dahl riding his Europeans horse, the 10-year-old Fidelio Van Het Bloemenhof, with whom he scored a plus-77% personal best at the Keysoe High Profile Show last week. Olympia regular, and last year’s grand prix victor Hans Peter Minderhoud will also cross the Channel from the Netherlands to compete on Glock’s Dream Boy.

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