Jessica von Bredow-Werndl & Dalera Into 2022 at World No. 1, Charlotte Dujardin & Gio Climb to No. 2 As Partnership Ends

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Jessica von Bredow-Werndl on TSF Dalera BB wearing one of the five gold medals won at the Olympics and European Championships in 2021. © Ken Braddick/dressage-news.com

Jan. 5, 2022

By KENNETH J. BRADDICK

Jessica von Bredow-Werndl and TSF Dalera BB, after capturing an unprecedented single year’s haul of five Olympic and championship gold medals, are into 2022 retaining the world No. 1 ranking while Charlotte Dujardin and Gio claim the second spot for the highest standing by the British rider since the retirement of Valegro.

Isabell Werth, who added even more luster with Bella Rose to collect two Olympic medals at Tokyo to add to her record as the most successful equestrian in Olympic history, was supplanted at the top of the standings by the German team partnership of Jessica and Dalera after ending each of the last five years as No. 1. Isabell closed out 2021, however, with three horses in the top 10–Bella Rose (No. 8) and Weihegold OLD (No. 4) that have alternated as the best and relative newcomer DSP Quantaz (No. 7).

Beginning with the Olympics in July that boosted Jessica and the 15-year-old Trakehner mare to the top of the standings, the pair extended a string of victories to eight, including two in Tokyo, three at the European Championships six weeks later then two at the Top 10 event in Stockholm that counted for the International Equestrian Federation (FEI) rankings. This was the first time that the Olympics and Europeans were staged in the same year–the Games were delayed a year by the coronavirus pandemic.

Even so, no rider and horse combination has won all the golds up for grabs at Olympics and successive Europeans since three medals were first awarded in 1991 for team, Grand Prix Special and Freestyle. Before and occasionally since two medals were awarded, for team and individual.

Jessica and Dalera also became only the seventh member of the 90% club with her Olympic and European musical performances scoring above that mark, the only pair to do so in two years.

Charlotte Dujardin and Gio. © 2021 Ken Braddick/dressage-news.com

Charlotte Dujardin and Gio jumped over Denmark’s Cathrine Dufour and Bohemian boosted by results at the Christmas time London International Horse Show World Cup that was the final competition for the pair as the 11-year-old KWPN gelding has been sold to British junior rider Annabella Pidgley, aged 17.

Charlotte chose Gio as her Olympic partner after three international competitions since beginning Big Tour nine months earlier. The results in Tokyo followed by the Europeans put the pair third in the world, with the London results pushing the pair to No. 2.

The Tokyo results on Gio gave Charlotte, 36, a total of six Olympic medals–four with Valegro, her partner for the still-standing world record score of 94.300% set at London in 2014–and fourth in the overall medal count of more than a century of equestrian competition at the Games. Only Isabell Werth with 12, Anky van Grunsven of the Netherlands on nine and Germany’s Reiner Klimke with eight and German jumper rider Hans Günter Winkler with seven have more, according to records checked by dressage-news.com.

Joining Cathrine Dufour and Bohemian in the top 10 ranked pairs was Danish Olympic team rider Carina Cassøe Krüth on Heiline’s Danciera moving up to sixth from eighth at the end of November.

Charlotte Fry, a British Olympic team mate with Everdale and No. 9 in the world, added Dark Legend to the top tier of the rankings with their London performance, moving up to 16th from 24th a month earlier. Carl Hester and En Vogue are ranked 13th to give Britain three spots in the top 20.

Edward Gal on Glock’s Total US edged up one spot to fifth with Netherlands’ team mate Hans Peter Minderhoud on Glock’s Dream Boy rounding out the top 10.

Steffen Peters and Suppenkasper. File photo. © Ken Braddick/dressage-news.com

Steffen Peters on Suppenkasper was the highest ranked American pair at No. 12 while Olympic silver medal team mate Sabine Schut-Kery on Sanceo dropped to No. 26 from 14th with only seven scores to count for the rankings. Covid-triggered modifications to the ranking system were already dropped so the procedure reverted to the best eight scores in the past 12 months.

Adrienne Lyle and Salvino that completed the three-member U.S. Olympic team had a total of only six scores in 2021 that gave the pair as ranking of 67th.

Rankings for riders in Australia were among the most impacted by the coronavirus restrictions with no international competitions since February 2020.

Of the 10 riders in the rankings, only Mary Hanna who was on the country’s Tokyo team with Calanta is based Down Under with her single score from the Olympics putting her 625th in the rankings. Eight combinations are based in Europe and one in the United States. A year ago, 48 riders and horses were in the FEI rankings, 38 based Down Under at the time.

The complete rankings are available at: https://data.fei.org/Ranking/Search.aspx?rankingCode=D_WR