Charlotte Dujardin & Valegro to Compete at Amsterdam Aiming for 1st World Cup Final

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Charlotte Dujardin and Valegro. © 2013 Ken Braddick/dressage-news.com
Charlotte Dujardin and Valegro. © 2013 Ken Braddick/dressage-news.com

Jan. 13, 2014

By KENNETH J. BRADDICK

Charlotte Dujardin and Valegro plan to compete in Amsterdam later this month in the first attempt by the British partnership to go to the World Cup Final that centers on the Grand Prix Musical Freestyle.

The decision to seek to qualify for the only annual global championship to be held in Lyon, France in April 17-21 came after the Olympic double gold medal pair added the Freestyle world record to the two Grand Prix marks already held by Charlotte and the 12-year-old KWPN gelding.

The world’s No. 1 combination claimed the maximum World Cup points at the London Olympia event last month where they scored 93.975 per cent to beat the record that had been held by the Netherlands’ Edward Gal and Totilas since December, 2009.

Heading into Amsterdam Jan. 23-26, Charlotte and Valegro (Negro x Gerschwin) have 20 points from London that ranks them 12th in the Western European League. Amsterdam is the fifth of eight qualifying events and a good result would almost assure them an invitation to the Final.

The pair that won team and individual gold at the 2012 Olympics and two individual gold medals at last summer’s European Championships have competed in the last three years only at the London Olympia World Cup event.

The top Dutch combinations of Adelinde Cornelissen and Jerich Parzival, World Cup champions in 2011 and 2012, Edward Gal and Glock’s Undercover, Hans Peter Minderhoud and Glock’s Romanov and Danielle Heijkoop and Kingsley Siro are expected to compete.

Sweden’s Tinne Vilhelmsson-Silfvén leads the WEL with 74 points.

If Charlotte and Valegro go to Lyon for the Final April 17-21 it could set up a head-to-head contest with Helen Langehanenberg of Germany and Damon Hill NRW, the 2013 World Cup champion, as well as Adelinde and Parzival.

The World Equestrian Games in Normandy, France next summer is the main goal in 2014 for Charlotte and Valegro.

If the pair show in both global championships, they will have the opportunity to exceed the record of Edward and Totilas who won the World Cup title in 2010 and team and both individual gold medals at the World Equestrian Games the same year but the stallion did not compete at an Olympics.

Carl Hester, part-owner of Valegro, mentor and coach to the 28-year-old Charlotte, and Roly Luard, his ownership partner, have pulled the horse off the sales market and financial backers are being sought to fund championship performances for Britain.