Blue Hors FEI World Dressage Team Championship Grand Prix paved the way for a young vibrant Danish team with four riders that made history on home soil landing gold in front of an enthusiastic crowd.
he four championship heroes all made close to their best performances in the team class, it is not every year a winning team has a drop score of 76.6 percent, nothing short of impressive.
The field of teams that were closing in on the podium places were after three riders more than a handful throwing the home nation Denmark, Germany, Great Britain in the mix with the Netherlands and Sweden for a while giving the team class quite a bit of suspense. The battle for the podium places were incredibly tight.
The much-awaited debut in the championship from Charlotte Dujardin and Imhotep, called Pete, made the Stutteri Ask Stadium to go completely silent in awe. She produced an amazing ride on the 9-year-old gelding giving Great Britain a boost with a score of 77.41 percent.
Daniel Bachmann-Andersen threw his fist in the air to state how immensely happy and proud he was over his partner for the championship Marshall-Bell. Germany’s third rider was the most decorated dressage rider to date Isabell Werth. With yet another horse she made a result worthy of a German championship team and scored 77.18 with DSP Quantaz.
Going into the last group of riders’ nerves were beginning to show on the faces of team members eagerly watching and awaiting the results. Great Britain’s last rider, young Charlotte Fry on her magnificent black stallion Glamourdale, really put pressure on the competition by a very good score of 80.84 percent. As last rider for the home nation and a crowd that really rooted for her, Cathrine Laudrup-Dufour was under pressure but performed as a seasoned gladiator; calm, cool, collected with razor sharp focus with her valiant steed Vamos Amigos. In a beautiful ride, the 10-year-old gelding showed his classical elegance and rhythm setting every movement perfectly on the spot under the guidance from Laudrup-Dufour. They entered the last halt, and the spectators went wild, score 81.86 percent and Denmark in the lead.
"Thank you to the audience – you rocked the arena to perfection. I was a bit nervous; I am always a little nervous. But today I calmed Nathalie and Kyra and told them; we can do this. My horse was nothing short of amazing. I feel so immensely proud for what me and my team members have done, we are all so proud of our achievement" said Cathrine Laudrup-Dufour with a smile on her face, reaching from ear to ear.
Last rider for Germany was championship debutante Fredric Wandres with his Duke of Britain FRH. A lot was riding on his shoulders, and they produced a good ride, but a few mistakes crept into the performance, they scored 76.66 percent. The German team thus secured a bronze medal keeping Great Britain in a silver position.
"Going out last for a team like Germany is of course pressure but we always have pressure. To ride for German team at a championship has been a childhood dream for me since I was a little boy. I am very proud that me and my horse made it into the team, that is not an easy task, and on to the podium, it is a dream come true.".
After receiving medals and cheers from the crowd the winning team and silver and bronze medalists performed a lap of honor on their horses.
The three teams make for shift in the dressage world with many new and younger riders in the mix and a considerable number of young talented Grand Prix horses that will be talked of in the years to come. Best on the field of play was the four Danish riders’ bringing gold to a proud community of dressage enthusiasts on home soil.