WOW Saddles sponsored Richard Davison (pictured below at the World Cup Final this year), was first of the Brits to go yesterday at the dressage Grand Prix at the Games riding Artemis. A typically polished performance from the experienced campaigners gained score of 72.812 and the biggest cheers we think we have heard throughout the whole of the Games. It even appeared that Richard was fighting back tears afterwards. “Us blokes don’t always show our emotions but it gets harder as you get older,” Richard said…. Well done to you both!!
Charlotte Dujardin was last to go for the Brits (and the pressure was on after Laura B’s disappointing score, which left Britain and Germany very close in the team rankings). The pair produced a spectacular, stylish, unhurried and expressive test; the score was a massive 83.663.
Valegro is certainly a horse to rival Germany’s Desperados, a German horse that is a potential successor to Totilas in the “Wow” stakes. Charlotte pushed Team GB into the lead, and in doing so, broke the existing record for an Olympic Grand Prix test. “That was anther level out there,” said her trainer Carl Hester. “The horse is only ten years old!”
The action at Greenwich on Friday concluded with Charlotte Dujardin for Britain in first place; Adelinde Cornelissen for the Netherlands in second; Helen Langehanenberg for Germany in third; Kristina Sprehe for Germany in fourth and Carl Hester for Britain in fifth. The team placings are Great Britain in first, followed by Germany, and then the Netherlands.
The show jumping started today at the Park, where team GB made a promising start – good luck, boys!
Gloucestershire’s Laura Bechtolsheimer will be Britain’s sole representative at the Reem Acra FEI World Cup Dressage qualifier at Neumunster, Germany this weekend 18 – 19 February. It will be the long-awaited international debut for her father, Wilfried’s Tellwell. The 12 year old Swedish Warmblood by Tip Top 362 has been with the Bechtolsheimers for nearly three years and Laura has taken time with his training to build the partnership. The horse represented Sweden as a five and six year old at the World Breeding Championships and won the 2009 Medien Cup qualifier at Grand Prix level in Wiesbaden under Patrik Kittel. His first competitive outing with Laura last month at Addington proved he’s a star prospect when winning the Grand Prix with 71.06%.
The BBC’s Ollie Willians recently wrote a fabulous article supporting Britain’s dressage riders, citing their recent success at Olympia as an indication of Olympic hopes in 2012. Here’s an extract:
Britain’s dressage riders strengthened their Olympic title credentials by sweeping the top four places on successive nights at London’s Olympia.
Three Britons posted huge scores in excess of 83 points at Olympia horse show. Laura Bechtolsheimer won the freestyle title a day after Charlotte Dujardin won the grand prix. Laura Bechtolsheimer said, “I wanted to finish 2011 showing that Alf and I are by no means old news.”
Though some key rivals were absent, the result illustrates Britain’s increasing prominence in the sport. GB won their first European team title in August.
“These are three of what seem to be the top horses in the world,” said Carl Hester, who led Britain to European glory in Rotterdam and picked up two third-places finishes at Olympia this week on board Uthopia. A British team has never before posted such strong dressage results.
Bechtolsheimer and Dujardin, 25, form a youthful core for the British team. Dujardin has spent almost five years working for and learning from Hester at his yard – she calls her GB team-mate “grandad” – and she hailed 2011 as her breakthrough year. “I’m still learning and getting to grips with it all, but for a nine-year-old horse to go in there and do that, you have to pinch yourself,” she said.
“I’ve been to the European Championships, won gold, come to Olympia which was one of my dreams this year, and I won yesterday. I can’t ask for much more.”
Congratulations to WOW-sponsored Richard Davison, who placed fourth in both the Grand Prix and the Freestyle, riding Hiscox Artemis!