Excited Valegro Returns to 1st Competition in Year to Easily Win Hartpury CDI3* Grand Prix

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Valegro ridden by Charlotte Dujardin in the Hartpury Festival of Dressage CDI3* Grand Prix. © 2016 Ken Braddick/dressage-news.com
Valegro ridden by Charlotte Dujardin in the Hartpury Festival of Dressage CDI3* Grand Prix. © 2016 Ken Braddick/dressage-news.com

By KENNETH J. BRADDICK

HARTPURY, England, July 8, 2016–A younger looking Valegro, appearing excited to be back in competition after a year away,  easily won the Hartpury Festival of Dressage CDI3* Grand Prix Friday that was a final showcase for Great Britain’s Olympic team.

The ride by Charlotte and Valegro was almost foot perfect except for two major mistakes–in the two-tempi changes and the final passage after the transition from piaffe which appeared to be the result of fitness and excitment.

Charlotte and the 14-year-old KWPN gelding that are reigning Olympic, world and European champions as well as the holder of all Grand Prix record scores were awarded 83.200 per cent for the first competition ride since the European Championships in Germany last August.

Of the other British Olympic team combinations, Carl Hester and Nip Tuck were awarded 78.200 per cent for second place, Spencer Wilton on Super Nova II placed third with 77.500 per cent that was their best ever of any Grand Prix level including the freestyle, and Fiona Bigwood on Orthilia earned 75.410 per cent for fourth.

In an interview with dressage-news.com, Charlotte as well as Carl Hester, her coach, were happy with the performance of Valegro.

Videos:

Charlotte and Valegro: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=wGATRDwOaww&feature=youtu.be

Carl and Nip Tuck: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=CE6zOorFXj0&feature=youtu.be

Carl Hester on Nip Tuck at Haretpury Festival of Dressage, the final CDI for the pair before the Olympic Games next month. © 2016 Ken Braddick/dressage-news.com
Carl Hester on Nip Tuck at Haretpury Festival of Dressage, the final CDI for the pair before the Olympic Games next month. © 2016 Ken Braddick/dressage-news.com

Spectators crowded the grass banks around the international arena for the Grand Prix at this college with a major equine department, swelling to several hundred for the ride by Charlotte, who turns 31 years old next week, and Valegro.

The duo received a total of eight marks of 10 and were on track, according to the spectator movement-by-movement scoreboard for a score in the high 80 per cent but a mix of 3s and 4s for the mistakes in the two-tempis and the final passage reduced it to the final result.

Spencer Wilton on Super Nova II at the Hartpury Festival of Dressage. © 2016 Ken Braddick/dressage-news.com
Spencer Wilton on Super Nova II at the Hartpury Festival of Dressage. © 2016 Ken Braddick/dressage-news.com

 

Results:

CDI3* Grand Prix