Charlotte Dujardin & Valegro Top World Rankings for 11th Straight Month
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By KENNETH J. BRADDICK
The World Cup triumph by Charlotte Dujardin and Valegro kept the British combination at No 1 in the world for the 11th straight month, according to an unofficial calculation of the International Equestrian Federation (FEI) rankings to the end of April.
Charlotte and the 12 year-old KWPN gelding on whom she holds world records for the Grand Prix, Special and Freestyle extended their lead over the No. 2 Helen Langehanenberg of Germany and Damon Hill NRW that was the World Cup reserve championship combination in Lyon, France in mid-April, according to the calculations by dressage-news.com.
The Netherlands’ Edward Gal and Glock’s Undercover maintained their third place ranking while Tinne Vilhelmson-Silfvén of Sweden and Don Auriello were No. 4, the same as the previous month.
The 28-year-old British rider and Valegro (Negro x Gerschwin) took over the lead in the world rankings from the Netherlands’ Adelinde Cornelissen and Jerich Parzival last June and have not given it up since.
Adelinde and Parzival, the KWPN gelding now 17 years old, dropped out of the top 10 for the first time in more than five years, reflecting a sharply curtailed competition schedule–their last show was Vienna last September.
Charlotte and Valegro became the first British combination to become No. 1 after their double gold medal performance at the 2012 Olympic Games in London and then traded the top ranking a couple of times with Adelinde and Parzival before solidifying their hold on the lead last June.
The partnership holds Olympic, World Cup and the European Championships individual titles simultaneously, all accumulated in less than two years.
Charlotte and Valegro, owned by Carl Hester, her mentor and trainer, and Roly Luard, can complete the Grand Slam of the four Grand Prix championships at the World Equestrian Games in Normandy, France in August. Only Anky van Grunsven has achieved such a sweep and she completed it on two horses.
In the past two years, the British duo has recorded 22 consecutive victories. Since startng their Grand Prix career in March, 2011 they have posted 30 victories in 39 starts.
Totilas, when ridden by Edward Gal logged two streaks, each of 11 straight wins–broken by a second place finish–from August, 2009 to September, 2010. The pair won 25 times in 27 starts from June, 2009 until the black stallion was sold after the World Equestrian Games in September, 2010.