Valegro to Defend World Cup Title at Las Vegas Final in April
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Oct. 18, 2014
By KENNETH J. BRADDICK
Valegro, ridden by Charlotte Dujardin of Great Britain to Olympic and World Games gold, will defend their World Cup title at the Final in Las Vegas next April, Carl Hester, an owner of the horse and coach of the combination, said Saturday.
Charlotte and the 12-year-old KWPN gelding will compete at the World Cup events at the London Olympia Christmas show Dec. 16-22 and at Amsterdam Jan. 3-Feb. 1, Carl told dressage-news.com. The two performances fulfill the requirement for the title defender to compete in two Freestyles in the World Cup series.
The competition schedule for the world’s No. 1 partnership came with the kickoff qualifier at Odense, Denmark of the nine-event Western European League indoor winter circuit.
Charlotte and Valegro (Negro x Gerschwin) won the World Cup title at Lyon, France last April, their debut in the Final of the annual global championship decided by the Freestyle.
The Final on Aprl 15-19 will be the fourth dual World Cups of dressage and jumping in Las Vegas in the past 10 years and will celebrate the 30th anniversary of the dressage championship.
The pair have dominated the top of the medals podiums in the past two years leading Britain to the gold medal at the Olympics in London in 2012–the first ever dressage medal in a century of Olympic competition–two 2014 World Games individual golds as well as a team silver and gold at both the 2011 and 2013 European Championships.
Valegro–Charlotte calls him “Blueberry”–hold all three Grand Prix world records–the Grand Prix of 87.129 set at this year’s Final in Lyon, the Special of 88.022 cent set at Hagen, Germany in 2012 and the Freestyle of 93.975 per cent set at London Olympia last Christmas.
The horse has competed once in the United States, at the CDI4* in Florida in 2012, finishing second to Steffen Peters of San Diego, California on Ravel.
Las Vegas is one of the most popular destinations for the World Cup–Anky van Grunsven and Sjef Janssen married during the 2005 Final. That was also the same event where Edward Gal on Lingh beat Anky on Salinero in the Grand Prix in a memorable performance.
The 2015 Final could see several World Cup champions challenging for the title–Edward Gal on Glock’s Undercover (he won on Totilas in 2010); Adelinde Cornelissen on Jerich Parzival (the pair won in 2011 and 2012); Isabell Werth on Don Johnson FRH or El Santo NRW (she won on Warum Nicht FRH in Las Vegas in 2007 and on Fabienne in 1992), Helen Langehanenberg on Damon Hill NRW (the pair won in 2013) and Steffen Peters on Legolas (he won on Ravel in 2009).