Horse Power Meets Ballet at FEI World Cup Finals in Lyon

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LYON, France, April 17, 2014–The worlds of equestrian sport and ballet met face to face in spectacular fashion Thursday for a photoshoot to launch the start of the FEI World Cup Finals in Lyon, France this weekend.

Double Olympic gold medallist Charlotte Dujardin of Great Britain from the world of dressage and American jumping rider Charlie Jacobs were joined by dancers from the Minsk Bolshoi ballet at Lyon’s Eurexpo, venue for this week’s Reem Acra FEI World Cup  Dressage and Longines FEI World Cup Jumping Finals.

Dancers from the Minsk Bolshoi, performing Swan Lake at the Lyon Amphitheatre in Lyon as part of a nationwide French tour showcased the parallels between ballet and equestrian sport–the poise and grace of the dancers and the athleticism and beauty of the horses.

Charlotte, world No. 1 dressage rider, said: “I’m very very excited to be here in Lyon and today has been a real experience.”

She is competing in her first World Cup Final and will be riding to new music in Sunday’s Freestyle competition.

“I’ve got brand new music that I’ve never competed to before, first time competing to it, but it’s a great floor plan and I love the music,” said the holder of all three Grand Prix dressage world records.

Charlie Jacobs, also makng his World Cup debut, said: “The photoshoot was drawing some similarities between the ballerinas and the jumping of the horses here. They’re very similar in terms of athletic ability; they’re very delicate but they’re very powerful.”

US jumping rider Charlie Jacobs demonstrates the power and athleticism of his sport, alongside Liudmila Khitrova from the Minsk Bolshoi, ahead of the Longines FEI World Cup Jumping Final in Lyon, France. © FEI/Hamish Brown
US jumping rider Charlie Jacobs demonstrates the power and athleticism of his sport, alongside Liudmila Khitrova from the Minsk Bolshoi, ahead of the Longines FEI World Cup Jumping Final in Lyon, France. © FEI/Hamish Brown

FEI TV behind the scenes footage from the unique photoshoot can now be viewed on the FEI’s YouTube channel here.