HAGEN, Germany, April 24, 2021–Charlotte Dujardin rode Gio to victory in the Horses & Dreams CDI4* Grand Prix Freestyle under the lights Saturday night just hours after riding Mount St. John Freestyle to the win the Olympic format Grand Prix Special to Music in the first premier event in Western Europe this year.
Charlotte and Gio, a 10-year-old KWPN gelding, scored 84.040% that surpassed their only other Big Tour musical performance result of 83.360%, the debut of the partnership at Keysoe in England last October. The pair won the Grand Prix earlier in the competition and the top three places were the same in both competitions.
German Olympic squad combination of Frederic Wandres and Duke of Britain placed second on a personal best score of 82.855%, slightly eclipsing their previous best result of 82.550% posted at London Olympia’s Christmas event in 2019.
Denmark’s Nanna Skodborg Merrald performed her first Big Tour Freestyle on Blue Hors Zack for a score of 82.025% and third place. Nanna competed in her first CDI in February on the 17-year-old KWPN stallion that he rode for Denmark at world and European championships.
Charlotte, Great Britain’s gold medal rider on Valegro at the 2012 and 2016 Olympics, saw Gio at a master class in Los Angeles six years ago and immediately bought the horse with a New Zealand supporter, Renai Hart, and her coach and mentor, Carl Hester.
This event came after more than a year of the coronavirus pandemic and two months of an outbreak of equine herpes virus in Europe, both of which wiped out the winter circuit in Europe including the World Cup Final for the second year in a row.
The resumption of competition at Hof Kasselmann’s Horses & Dreams that is the traditional kickoff of top sport for Western Europe outdoor season drew many ranked combinations as preparations begin in earnest for the Tokyo Olympics that were delayed a year by Covid-19 but is seeming more likely to go ahead in July with foreign spectators banned and other restrictions.
Fuente: Dressage News