Isabell Werth & Bella Rose Top 2nd Day of Olympic Grand Prix Qualifying, Charlotte Dujardin on Gio at 80%
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July 25, 2021
Isabell Werth on Bella Rose assured Germany as hot favorite to take Olympic team gold when the world’s No. 1 combination was the leading partnership Sunday, the second of two days of Grand Prix qualifying for the Grand Prix Special behind only her team mate Jessica von Bredow-Werndl and TSF Dalera. Isabell and Bella Rose were the highest scoring pair Sunday with 82.500% while Jessica and Dalera, No. 2 in the world, rode to a career high 84.379% on Saturday.
Charlotte Dujardin on Gio posted a personal best 80.963% and the first 80% in the horse’s fourth Big Tour event to make Britain a top contender for a medal in the Grand Prix Special team competition Tuesday. Carina Cassøe Krüth on Heilines Dancier was awarded 76.677% following the 81.056% produced by Cathrine Dufour on Bohemian a day earlier that ranked Denmark third in the qualifying rounds.
A major surprise was the performance by the United States’ duo of Adrienne Lyle on Salvino with 74.876%, their lowest score since February of 2019 and following the Florida winter circuit to become only the third American combination to join the 80% club and also establish a new American Grand Prix record score. Sabine Schut-Kery on Sanceo emerged as the top placed American pair on 78.416% with Steffen Peters on Suppenkasper next on 76.196%.
The eight nations to go to the team competition with a clean slate ranked in the order they qualified are: 1. Germany, 2. Great Britain, 3. Denmark, 4. United States, 5. Netherlands, 6. Sweden, 7. Portugal and 8. Spain. Teams to miss out are France, Belgium, Canada, Russia, Australia and Japan. Austria was entered as the 15th team but the withdrawal of one horse left the nation with two combinations that competed as individuals.
The riders and horses to qualify for the Grand Prix Freestyle to vie for individual medals Wednesday are: Cathrine Dufour/Bohemian, Carina Cassøe Krüth/Heilines Dancier and Nanna Skodborg Merrald/Zack of Denmark; Jessica von Bredow-Werndl/TSF Dalera, Dorothee Schneider/Showtime and Isabell Werth/Bella Rose of Germany; Charlotte Fry/Everdale, Charlotte Dujardin/Gio and Carl Hester/En Vogue of Great Britain; Edward Gal/Total US and Hans Peter Minderhoud/Dream Boy of the Netherlands; Rodrigo Torres/Fogoso of Portugal; Beatriz Ferrer-Salat/Elegance of Spain; Therese Nilshagen/Dante Weltino and Juliette Ramel/Buriel of Sweden, and Sabine Schut-Kery/Sanceo, Adrienne Lyle/Salvino and Steffen Peters/Suppenkasper.
At the age of 51, Isabell is competing in her sixth Olympics. She has already won 10 Olympic medals, more than any other equestrian and has ridden on four of the 13 German gold medal teams so far.
“It was important to have a safe and faultless ride,” she said after the ride. “I am very satisfied. Bella was very focused and concentrated.”
The performance with Bella Rose, now 17 years old, comes after the horse was on the 2014 World Equestrian Games gold medal team then was out of commission for 3 1/2 years with a persistent injury. Bella Rose, a Westfalen mare, returned to competition three years ago and since then has led Germany to team gold as well as earning individual golds at the 2018 World Games in Tryon and the 2019 Europeans.
Dorothee Schneider on Showtime, team mates at the 2016 Olympics when Isabell rode Weihegold OLD, as well at the 2019 Europeans, scored 78.820% Sunday to win their heat.
Jessica, 35, and Dalera, a 14-year-old Trakehner mare, are Olympic rookies though were on the teams at the 2018 World Games and the 2019 Europeans.
Charlotte, 35, a double gold medalist at the 2012 London Olympics and individual gold medalist in 2016 on Valegro, chose Gio over Mount St. John Freestyle for these Games as she figured the 10-year-old KWPN gelding could better handle conditions in Tokyo.
“Gio is very green and inexperienced, but he tried his heart out out there,” Charlotte said. “To me that is like winning tonight, because I came out knowing he couldn’t have done any more. It’s not always about winning or losing, it’s about what you can do with your horse. That was one of those special moments, that emotion just runs through your body because you feel so proud, having that partnership with your horse.”
Complete results: https://tokyo2020.live.fei.org/