Bronze for Charlotte Dujardin as new Olympic dressage champion is crowned

  • Jessica von Bredow-Werndl is the new individual Olympic dressage champion after a stunning freestyle at the Tokyo Olympics. Fifth from last to go, the German rider produced a fabulous test on her 14-year-old mare, TSF Dalera, to score 91.732%.

    “I couldn’t have done any better and I’m so pleased with Dalera,” said Jessica. “She gave her whole heart for me and was amazing.”

    Jessica admitted she was even more nervous trying to watch her fellow German riders complete their tests than she was riding her own.

    “The most difficult competitors are the girls from my own country,” she said.

    It was a one-two for Germany, with Jessica’s compatriot Isabell Werth next up on the podium. Isabell and Bella Rose 2 did their utmost to add the Olympic title to their world and European ones, but had to settle for silver with 89.657%.

    Isabell said she was satisfied with the result as Bella Rose had done her best.

    “Sometimes you have the last point to win, and sometimes not. It’s a sport and that’s what I enjoy,” she said.

    Britain’s Charlotte Dujardin and Gio’s score of 88.543% was a huge personal best for the young and green chestnut. Charlotte, the defending Olympic champion, had already said winning team bronze was like a gold for this stage in their career. This was only the third international grand prix freestyle of Gio’s life.

    “I just went out there knowing I wasn’t going to go down without a fight,” said Charlotte, now the most decorated female British Olympian in history with six medals from three Olympics. “But I also wanted to enjoy it and have fun, and I really did. This might be bronze but he gave me absolutely everything and he’s a winner in my eyes.”

    A delighted Charlotte Dujarding wears her Olympic bronze medal onboard Gio in the Tokyo individual dressage medal ceremony

    The final combination into the arena, Dorothee Schneider and Showtime FRH, could well have knocked Charlotte off the podium to complete a German clean sweep, but tonight was not their night. Their freestyle carried too many errors by their high standards, and scored 79.432% to finish 15th.

    All three British riders excelled themselves, with Carl Hester finishing eighth on En Vogue on 81.81% and Olympic debutant Lottie Fry taking 13th on Everdale with plus-80%.

    Denmark’s Cathrine Dufour (Bohemian) just missed out on the medals in fourth, while US newcomer Sabine Schut-Kery (Sanceo) was fifth and Dutchman Edward Gal (Total US) sixth.

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