Charlotte Dujardin has taken the top two places in the Wellington CDI3* grand prix, sponsored by Horse & Country TV.
Charlotte claimed the win at Wellington riding the 10-year-old Apache x Tango gelding Gio, who edged out his more experienced stablemate, Mount St John Freestyle, to score 79.13% and secure his spot at the top of the leaderboard. Meanwhile, a costly mistake kept Freestyle in second.
Gio, known at home as Pumpkin, produced a super test, only marred by a mistake in the one-time changes. Their early trotwork was gorgeous, earning a 10 for their first half-pass. The gelding is only in his second year of grand prix, with this show being just his third international, but he put in a mature performance here, picking up more 10s for their final centre line.
The 12-year-old Fidermark mare Mount St John Freestyle, owned by Emma Blundell, also offered some excellent work, her scoresheet littered with nines and 10s during the early section. However, an uncharacteristic major spook during the pair’s second piaffe caused the marks to momentarily plummet, although a strong canter section and super last line helped elevate their final score back to 77.94%.
Carl Hester finished third with 77.5% riding En Vogue, the 12-year-old Jazz gelding owned by Charlotte. They too produced lots of very high quality work, with their piaffes and pirouettes scoring particularly highly. However, their performance divided the judges, with the Dutch judge at M, Mariette Sanders-Van Hansewinkel awarding him 72.94% – more than 8% lower than the mark from Isobel Wessels at H, of 80.98%.
Gareth Hughes filled fourth with his upcoming star, the 11-year-old Sintano Van Hof Olympia, posting 73.78% on just their second international outing at this level.
Emile Faurie finished fifth on his World Equestrian Games team bronze medallist Dono Di Maggio – a welcome result for Emile who was denied the chance to compete as planned at Opglabbeek CDI in Belgium last month. Olympic silver medallist Fiona Bigwood rounded out the top six riding Hawtins Delicato – former championship ride of Carl Hester – on their international debut as a combination.
This morning’s Wellington Riding inter I was won by Britain’s Sarah Millis, who rode the eight-year-old Charmeur x Krack C gelding Impressive to 75.05%. Sarah finished almost 3% ahead of yesterday’s Nirvana Spa prix st georges winner, Germany’s Nikolas Kröncke and Flanell.
Competition continues tomorrow (Thursday, 13 May) with the grand prix special kicking off at 8am, followed by the grand prix freestyle and the under-25 grand prix. Over the course of the weekend, Wellington will host a full complement of international youth classes at pony, junior and young rider levels.
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