Charlotte Dujardin & Valegro World Cup Champions

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Charlotte Dujardin holding aloft the World Cup she won on Valegro for Great Britain's first title in the 29 years the championship has been held. © 2014 Jenny Abrahamsson/WorldofShowJumping.com
Charlotte Dujardin holding aloft the World Cup she won on Valegro for Great Britain’s first title in the 29 years the championship has been held. © 2014 Jenny Abrahamsson/WorldofShowJumping.com

By KENNETH J. BRADDICK

Charlotte Dujardin and Valegro won the Reem Acra FEI World Cup title Sunday with a score of 92.179. per cent for the Freestyle at Lyon, France and the first pair from Great Britain to capture the global championship in its 29-year history.

The pair danced to new music before a sold out stadium, and the result was their second highest for the Freestyle though shy of the world record of 93.975 per cent they set at London Olympia last December.

“Absolutely over the moon,” was the way Charlotte described the ride a day after the partnership broke its own Grand Prix record with a new high mark of 87.129 per cent.

“Coming here to my very first World Cup Final–it’s so fantastic! This was my first time with my new Freestyle and it was so much fun, this music is great and it was so emotional–it’s all you can ask for…  a dream come true really.

“I’m really, really happy with how it went and hopefully it can go even better.”

Helen Langehanenberg of Germany and Damon Hill NRW produced a performance below their best and their score of 87.339 per cent placed the defending titleholders in second place with the Netherlands’ Edward Gal and Glock’s Undercover in third on 83.696 per cent.

Although the music by Tom Hunt, based on the soundtrack from the Dreamworks animated film, “How to Train Your Dragon,” the choreography was new some of the judges were so impressed that two (Gary Rockwell of the United States and Thomas Lang of Austria) awarded Charlotte and Valegro 99 per cent and another (Jacques van Daele) 98 per cent for the artistic performance.

Charlotte Dujardin and Valegro performing the Grand Prix Freestyle to become World Cup champions. © Jenny Abrahamsson.WorldofShowJumping.com
Charlotte Dujardin and Valegro performing the Grand Prix Freestyle to become World Cup champions. © Jenny Abrahamsson.WorldofShowJumping.com

“I had only ridden the test twice at home so I wasn’t as confident as I would be with my other music but I definitely think this is better than my old music,” she said. “We were just messing around at home when I came up with the idea of the piaffe/pirouette at the end which is technically difficult but, being the superstar he is, Valegro can do it.”

The crowd agreed and gave the pair a standing ovation.

She talked about the importance of her new Freestyle music and floorplan. “I think it really is story telling and you know, it really highlights his (Valegro’s) highlights, his powerful extended canter. It really kicks in for that and obviously the end was the piaffe/pirouette. I was thinking today, what if we make a fluff of it! You think it’s all a good idea until you’ve actually got to do it in there and you’re like ‘uh-oh, what if it goes wrong.’ But thankfully it didn’t and what a superstar Valegro is.”.

The 28-year-old rider said later she and Valegro had never before performed quarter circles in piaffe to the left and right of the final cnterline but “I threw it in” because the entire ride was new and totally different from the resounding patriotic theme she performed for the Olympics in London in 2012 and the European Championships last year where the pair won two gold medals at both.

Valegro's showing off extended trot in the new Freestyle. © 2014 Jenny Abrahamsson/WorldofShowJumping.com
Valegro’s showing off extended trot in the new Freestyle. © 2014 Jenny Abrahamsson/WorldofShowJumping.com

Now, Charlotte and the 12-year-old KWPN gelding she calls “Blueberry” are just one individual championship gold medal away from the Grand Slam of Olympic, World Games, World Cup and European Championships that has previousy been achieved only by Anky van Grunsven of the Netherlands on two different horses. The British combination will have their chance at the World Equestrian Games in Normandy, France in four months’ time.

Their victory Sunday makes Britain the ninth nation to have won the title–the others are Netherlands, Germany, Switzerland, United States, Denmark, France, Sweden and Finland.

The rides by both Helen Langehanenberg and Edward Gal–who won the World Cup title on Totilas in 2010–were scored below their best results. A shaky start by Helen and Damon Hill put out of reach their personal best score of 90.375 per cent at the Neumünster, Germany World Cup qualifier in February.

Helen Langehanenberg and Damon Hill in an unsuccessful effort to defend their World Cup title. © 2014 Jenny Abrahamsson/WorldofShowJumping.com
Helen Langehanenberg and Damon Hill in an unsuccessful effort to defend their World Cup title. © 2014 Jenny Abrahamsson/WorldofShowJumping.com

The result of 83.696 per cent for Edward and Undercover was a long way from their best of 87.425 per cent at London Olympia last Christmas and their lowest score in almost a year.

Undercover, Edward said, “was still a little too excited, it was difficult warming up in this environment. He was too over-active and in end I lost my rein.”

Helen said, “I had two mistakes today, and two is too many. In between I had a great feeling but I took risks and when you take a risk then anything can happen. On the centerline we didn’t start together, but that’s the way it goes–but I’m absolutely happy.”

Edward Gal on Glock's Undercover. © 2014 Jenny Abrahamsson/WorldofShowJumping.com
Edward Gal on Glock’s Undercover. © 2014 Jenny Abrahamsson/WorldofShowJumping.com

Although few of the 17 rides were near their best, one of the most disappointed was Tina Konyot of Palm City, Florida who rode Calecto V to a score of 71.929 per cent that put the pair in 12th place while fellow American Cesar Parra of Whitehouse Station, New Jersey was awarded 68.429 per cent for 16th place.

“My horse felt great and I am a complete a**,” Tina said after the ride. “Had no idea where I was going and that’s never happened to me before. How embarrassing. I am an idiot 1,000 times over.”

Tina Konyot on Calecto V performing the Freestyle at the World Cup Final. © Jenny Abrahamsson/WorldofDhowJumping.com
Tina Konyot on Calecto V performing the Freestyle at the World Cup Final. © Jenny Abrahamsson/WorldofDhowJumping.com

Denmark’s Mikala Münter Gundersen, based in Wellington, Florida for the past decade, rode the American-owned My Lady to move up a notch to 11th with a score of 72.250 per cent. The pair placed 12th place in the Grand Prix. She was the sole Danish rider remaining in the competition when fellow Florida resident Lars Petersen and Mariett scratched after developing an abscess during travel from the United States while Nanna Skodborg Merrald pulled out when Millibar failed veterinary inspection.

Mikala Münter Gundersen riding My Lady in the World Cup Final Freestyle. © 2014 Jenny Abrahamsson/WorldofShowJumping.com
Mikala Münter Gundersen riding My Lady in the World Cup Final Freestyle. © 2014 Jenny Abrahamsson/WorldofShowJumping.com

Results:

Grand Prix Freestyle
(K) (E) (H) (C) (M) (B) (F) Total
 
1. 0505 Valegro Dujardin,Charlotte GBR 56.000,00 EUR  A:  92.500 % 86.500 % 84.000 % 92.750 % 88.000 % 88.500 % 86.250 % 92.179 %
bay / 12y. / G / Negro / Gerschwin / 102UB51 / Mr C Hester,Mrs R Luard  B:  99.000 % 99.000 % 94.000 % 93.000 % 93.000 % 96.000 % 98.000 %
(1.) (1.) (1.) (1.) (1.) (1.) (1.)
 
2. 0507 Damon Hill NRW Langehanenberg,Helen GER 45.000,00 EUR  A:  85.750 % 85.250 % 82.250 % 83.250 % 83.750 % 86.000 % 80.500 % 87.339 %
dchst / 14y. / S / Donnerhall / Rubinstein I / GER26971 / Becks,Christian  B:  90.000 % 95.000 % 88.000 % 90.000 % 88.000 % 96.000 % 89.000 %
(2.) (2.) (2.) (2.) (2.) (2.) (2.)
 
3. 0511 Glock’s Undercover Gal,Edward NED 32.200,00 EUR  A:  79.250 % 81.250 % 79.750 % 83.250 % 79.500 % 82.500 % 80.250 % 83.696 %
black / 13y. / G / Ferro / Donnerhall / 103MH20 / Ghpc Holding Bv  B:  87.000 % 90.000 % 85.000 % 87.000 % 83.000 % 90.000 % 84.000 %
(3.) (3.) (3.) (3.) (3.) (3.) (4.)
 
4. 0516 Don Auriello Vilhelmson Silfven,Tinne SWE 20.700,00 EUR  A:  78.500 % 75.750 % 79.000 % 77.000 % 75.000 % 77.500 % 79.250 % 80.929 %
bay / 12y. / G / Don Davidoff / White Star / GER43436 / Lövsta Stuteri / Antonia Ax:son Joh  B:  85.000 % 85.000 % 85.000 % 83.000 % 80.000 % 87.000 % 86.000 %
(4.) (4.) (4.) (5.) (5.) (4.) (3.)
 
5. 0509 El Santo NRW Werth,Isabell GER 18.000,00 EUR  A:  73.750 % 74.500 % 75.000 % 78.000 % 75.000 % 74.250 % 77.500 % 79.071 %
bay / 13y. / G / Ehrentusch / Rythmus / GER44504 / Madeleine Winter-Schulze + Isabell  B:  80.000 % 84.000 % 84.000 % 87.000 % 79.000 % 79.000 % 86.000 %
(7.) (5.) (5.) (4.) (7.) (8.) (5.)
 
6. 0512 Kingsley Siro Heijkoop,Danielle NED 13.500,00 EUR  A:  75.000 % 75.000 % 76.500 % 72.750 % 77.500 % 76.500 % 76.000 % 77.946 %
black / 15y. / G / Gribaldi / Hemmingway / 102NZ55 / D.Heykoop & T.E.G.van Grunsven & J.  B:  80.000 % 82.000 % 80.000 % 76.000 % 80.000 % 80.000 % 84.000 %
(5.) (6.) (7.) (9.) (4.) (6.) (6.)
 
7. 0506 Unee BB von Bredow-Werndl,Jessica GER 9.000,00 EUR  A:  72.750 % 72.750 % 74.250 % 74.250 % 75.500 % 77.250 % 74.000 % 77.768 %
dbay / 13y. / S / Gribaldi / Dageraad / 102YN67 / Bürchler-Keller Beatrice  B:  80.000 % 83.000 % 82.000 % 80.000 % 79.000 % 86.000 % 78.000 %
(8.) (7.) (8.) (7.) (6.) (5.) (8.)
 
8. 0513 Glock’s Johnson Minderhoud,Hans Peter NED 6.300,00 EUR  A:  74.750 % 72.000 % 76.000 % 76.000 % 74.750 % 74.500 % 75.750 % 77.625 %
bay / 12y. / S / Jazz / Flemmingh / NED41431 / Glock Holding BV & Team Nijhof  B:  79.000 % 80.000 % 81.000 % 81.000 % 79.000 % 80.000 % 83.000 %
(7.) (8.) (6.) (6.) (8.) (7.) (7.)
 
9. 0504 Noble Dream Concept Sol Boblet,Marc FRA 5.400,00 EUR  A:  71.000 % 71.500 % 71.750 % 72.000 % 73.250 % 72.000 % 73.750 % 74.875 %
black / 12y. / M / Caprimond / Donnerhall / FRA43253 / Laura Dallara – Jean-Louis Dallara  B:  76.000 % 79.000 % 78.000 % 75.000 % 79.000 % 79.000 % 77.000 %
(10.) (9.) (9.) (11.) (9.) (9.) (9.)
 
10. 0514 Mister X Merkulova,Inessa RUS 4.500,00 EUR  A:  73.000 % 71.500 % 71.000 % 74.000 % 71.750 % 71.000 % 73.750 % 73.786 %
bay / 10y. / G / Egeus / 102YZ81 / Merkulova,Inessa  B:  76.000 % 76.000 % 73.000 % 75.000 % 74.000 % 77.000 % 76.000 %
(9.) (10.) (11.) (8.) (10.) (11.) (10.)
 
11. 0501 My Lady Gundersen,Mikala Münter DEN 3.600,00 EUR  A:  71.000 % 69.250 % 68.750 % 71.500 % 69.500 % 73.250 % 68.250 % 72.250 %
bay / 14y. / M / Michellino / 103KN32 / Janne H. Rumbough & Mikala Münter G  B:  75.000 % 75.000 % 74.000 % 74.000 % 72.000 % 76.000 % 74.000 %
(11.) (11.) (12.) (12.) (13.) (10.) (13.)
 
12. 0517 Calecto V Konyot,Tina USA 2.700,00 EUR  A:  72.000 % 68.250 % 69.250 % 74.750 % 70.000 % 71.250 % 70.500 % 71.929 %
bay / 16y. / S / Come Back II / Rastell / USA41206 / Tina Konyot  B:  73.000 % 73.000 % 75.000 % 73.000 % 70.000 % 73.000 % 74.000 %
(12.) (13.) (10.) (10.) (15.) (12.) (12.)
 
13. 0519 Romeo-Star Sidneva,Elena RUS 2.700,00 EUR  A:  68.250 % 67.750 % 68.500 % 70.250 % 70.000 % 68.750 % 69.750 % 71.018 %
bay / 13y. / S / Romantic Star / Mister A / RUS40441 / Mrs. Ludmila Dmitrieva  B:  70.000 % 74.000 % 74.000 % 71.000 % 73.000 % 73.000 % 76.000 %
(16.) (12.) (13.) (13.) (12.) (13.) (11.)
 
14. 0515 Smeyers Lazander Krinke Susmelj,Marcela SUI 2.700,00 EUR  A:  67.750 % 66.250 % 66.500 % 68.000 % 70.500 % 68.250 % 67.750 % 69.857 %
chest / 13y. / G / Solos Landtinus / Lebensmann / DEN40387 / Meyer Irene  B:  71.000 % 72.000 % 69.000 % 70.000 % 74.000 % 73.000 % 74.000 %
(15.) (15.) (16.) (16.) (11.) (14.) (14.)
 
15. 0500 Sancette Hanna,Mary AUS 2.700,00 EUR  A:  69.250 % 66.250 % 69.750 % 69.750 % 68.500 % 66.750 % 68.250 % 69.821 %
bay / 13y. / G / Sandro Hit / Contender / USA41094 / Mary Hanna  B:  73.000 % 73.000 % 66.000 % 70.000 % 72.000 % 72.000 % 73.000 %
(13.) (14.) (15.) (14.) (14.) (16.) (16.)
(K) (E) (H) (C) (M) (B) (F) Total
 
16. 0518 Van The Man Parra,Cesar USA  A:  67.000 % 65.500 % 64.500 % 67.000 % 68.250 % 68.250 % 69.500 % 68.429 %
black / 12y. / G / Obelisk / Landjonker (Fruhling) / 103BW14 / Michael Davis/sarah Davis/cesar Par  B:  70.000 % 71.000 % 66.000 % 68.000 % 70.000 % 71.000 % 72.000 %
(17.) (17.) (17.) (17.) (16.) (15.) (15.)
 
17. 0510 Bukowski Kim,Dong-Seon KOR  A:  67.750 % 66.750 % 67.750 % 68.250 % 67.500 % 65.500 % 63.750 % 68.089 %
bay / 15y. / G / Briar 899 / Junius XX / GER41640 / Hanwha Galleria  B:  71.000 % 70.000 % 70.000 % 70.000 % 69.000 % 68.000 % 68.000 %
(15.) (16.) (14.) (15.) (17.) (17.) (17.)

 

 
Judges
(K)  G.Rockwell (USA)
(E)  T.Lang (AUT)
(H)  L.Tornblad (DEN)
(C)  Dr.J.-M.Roudier (FRA)
(M)  E.de Wolff van Westerrode (NED)
(B)  Dr.E.Eisenhardt (GER)
(F)   J.van Daele (BEL)
Prize money €225,000