Great Britain’s Fiona Bigwood & Orthilia Win Zeeland Outdoor CDI3* Grand Prix to Kick Off Olympic Campaign
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NIEUW EN SINT JOOSLAND, Netherlands, April 7, 2016–Fiona Bigwood and Atterupgaards Orthilia kicked off their Rio Olympic campaign by winning the Zeeland Outdoor CDI3* Grand Prix Thursday in the first competition for the British pair since last summer’s European Championships.
Against a strong field including the return to competition of Edward Gal on Glock’s Undercover Fiona and the 11-year-old Oldenburg mare scored 75.640 per cent to put the pair alongside Charlotte Dujardin on Valegro and Carl Hester on Nip Tuck as the top three British team contenders on the road to Rio.
The Netherlands’ Madeleine Witte-Vrees rode the nine-year-old stallion Cennin to second place on 73.260 per cent in only their second Big Tour competition that was launched a month ago.
Belgium’s Jorinde Verwimp on Tiamo placed third on 71.040 per cent.
Fiona began the Big Tour with Orthilia (Atterupgaards Olivia x Donnerschlag) just a year ago. The pair were successful in five shows throughout the spring and summer last year then were selected for the British team for the European Championships in Aachen, Germany where the squad won silver.
Eight months later, this was their return to competition in preparation for Rio where Great Britain will defend the historic team gold medal won in London in 2012.
Edward Gal and Glock’s Undercover placed sixth on 70.220 per cent, the lowest ever for the pair in the horse’s first competition since being eliminated from last summer’s Europeans.
Undercover, a KWPN gelding now 15 years old, was Edward’s 2012 Olympic team bronze and 2013 team silver and 2015 European Championships team gold mount. In three World Cup Final appearances, the duo placed third at both Gothenburg, Sweden in 2013 and Lyon, France in 2014 and was runner-up at Las Vegas in 2015.
CDI3* Grand Prix
Judges–E: E. de Wolff van Westenrode NED H: F. Verbeek NED C: P. Holler GER M: S. Baarup DEN B: C. Halsall GBR