Charlotte Dujardin Declares New Short Grand Prix “Quite Easy” & Wins London Olympia World Cup Grand Prix

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Charlotte Dujardin and Mount St. John Freestyle completing the experimental short Grand Prix at the London Olympia World Cup. © 2019 Ken Braddick/dressage-news.com

By KENNETH J. BRADDICK

LONDON, Dec. 16, 2019–Declaring the experimental short Grand Prix “quite easy,” Charlotte Dujardin rode Mount St. John Freestyle to victory in the World Cup Monday night on the first score above 80% in two years of the new test.

Charlotte and the 10-year-old Hanoverian mare on which she won team and individual bronze medals at the 2018 World Equestrian Games, scored 81.553% for the win, placed first by all five judges and all above 80%.

Carl Hester, longtime coach of Charlotte, and his 2018 WEG and 2019 European Championship team mount of Hawtins Delicato placed second on 75.790%.

Charlotte Fry on Everdale were third on 75.368% to round out the top three spots for the home side of Great Britain.

Carl Hester and Hawtins Delicato at London Olympia World Cup. © 2019 Ken Braddick/dressage-news.com

The most common words used by riders to describe the much abbreviated Grand Prix–averaging about 5 mins. compared with about 6 1/2 mins for the full size version–were “fast,” “quick,” “very fast.”

However, aside from the top tier of riders, many of the competitors were inexperienced or on horses that did not yet have a Grand Prix career and thus were not yet capable of handling the new floorplan that was created primarily by German 5* judge Katrina Wüst.

Great Britain’s team rider Gareth Hughes on the still green KK Woodstock and first to go noted there were no opportunities in the new test to have time to prepare for movements. “Evereything came up so quickly,” he said.

Frederic Wandres of Germany, the winner on Duke of Britain at last year’s Freestyle and the top placing non Briton who was fifth on 72.684%, said the test was “much quicker” than last year’s debut version.

Charlotte Dujardin, World Cup champion on Valegro in 2014 in Lyon, France and in Las Vegas in 2015, said she wants to qualify for the Final in April, again in Las Vegas.

“I’m really, really pleased,” she said, “this is Freestyle’s second indoor show. It’s a really big atmosphere for young horses that don’t have much experience. I could hear people saying, ‘Good luck, Charlotte,’ as I’m riding around the arena, that’s how close we are. I’m excited that each time she goes out she gets better.

“It wasn’t about the score, it was more about how she dealt with everything.”

Carl was chagrined with his result–“I can do a lot better. I’m 52 for God’s sake. I shouldn’t be making mistakes.”

He said he’s not trying for the World Cup, “I’m working backwards to the Olympics” in Tokyo next July.

Results:

Short Grand Prix

Judges: Katrina Wüst Francis Verbeek van Rooy Isabelle Judet Stephen Clarke Andrew Gardner
Place Score % Nation Athlete Horse E H C M B Spectators
1. 81.553 GBR Charlotte Dujardin Mount St John Freestyle 81.447 82.895 80.132 81.184 82.105 80.522 (1)
2. 75.790 GBR Carl Hester Hawtins Delicato 75.263 74.342 75.132 77.895 76.316 76.537 (2)
3. 75.368 GBR Charlotte Fry Everdale 74.605 78.684 75.658 74.342 73.553 73.192 (4)
4. 74.053 GBR Lara Butler Rubin Al Asad 73.816 74.737 74.079 74.211 73.421 73.720 (3)
5. 72.684 GER Frederic Wandres Duke of Britain 75.000 71.053 71.974 72.237 73.158 72.275 (7)
6. 72.395 DEN Anders Dahl Fidelio van het Bloemenhof 73.421 73.421 72.895 72.632 69.605 69.985 (9)
7. 72.368 GBR Richard Davison Bubblingh 70.263 71.842 74.079 73.553 72.105 72.658 (6)
8. 70.974 NED Thamar Zweistra Hexagon’s Double Dutch 71.842 68.684 70.395 73.684 70.263 71.203 (8)
9. 70.026 GBR Louise Anne Bell Into the Blue 71.053 68.026 70.395 70.789 69.868 69.982 (10)
10. 69.789 GBR Gareth Hughes KK Woodstock 69.605 69.211 67.763 70.263 72.105 72.911 (5)
11. 69.658 POR João Miguel Torrao Equador 67.632 69.211 69.474 69.342 72.632 69.620 (11)
12. 66.105 SLO Mojca Usnik Libertino 65.263 63.816 68.553 67.632 65.263 67.776 (13)
12. 66.105 BEL Simon Missiaen Charlie 66.447 63.816 68.289 65.000 66.974 66.674 (16)
14. 66.000 IRL Dane Rawlins Espoire 66.447 64.474 65.921 67.632 65.526 68.665 (12)
15. 64.763 FIN Mikaela Soratie Dacor 63.816 63.026 64.868 65.395 66.711 67.112 (14)
16. 64.184 DEN Ulrik Moelgaard Michigan 64.211 60.789 65.395 65.395 65.132 66.991 (15)