A new generation of stars emerges at Herning2022, and they have young talented horses to develop even further. The Blue Hors FEI World Dressage Grand Prix Special Championship showed 29 combinations giving their best to reach the freestyle and final medal possibilities on Wednesday evening under floodlight.
Best of the best in a tight competition filled of suspense and drama was Charlotte “Lottie” Fry on the black stallion Glamourdale. She beat silver winning Cathrine Laudrup-Dufour in a tight battle where perhaps a tiny misstep in canter cost the Danish home-rider the top podium position. Dutch rider Dinja van Liere kept control on the reins of her elegant stallion Hermés, that she claims is a bit of a clown from time to time.
As the competition of the Grand Prix Special unfolded, many combinations came through producing even better rides than in the team competition. A bit of the tension from the pressure of representing a team had gone away and the combinations could really show off their qualities in the more demanding program that is the Grand Prix Special.
The claim on the top positions started out with German team debutante Benjamin Werndl that did a fabulous ride with his Famoso OLD scoring 78.237 percent. Charlotte Dujardin followed up with a very excited and eager Imhotep but could not quite get ahead of Benjamin Werndl. The stadium got really heated when a lovely lady in orange tails entered on a beautiful stallion. Dinja van Liere and Hermes held it together and scored 79.407 percent, a personal best. Still, the amazon used powerful language in a bit of annoyance, she has dreamt of 80 percent for a long time and will surely achieve it given time. Straight after her entered the rider with the highest score in the team competition, Danish rider Cathrine Laudrup-Dufour on her energetic Vamos Amigos. They really showed off a fluent, harmonious, and elegant test, but a tiny tempi fault cost a little, giving them a score of 81.322 percent. Would it be sufficient to win?
Young Charlotte Fry on approved breeding stallion Glamourdale came in meeting the cheer for Cathrine from the crowd in Stutteri Ask Stadium in stride. They produced a flawless test, improving on their weak points with so much promise for the future. The crowd followed her every canter step in awe sending her off to powerful cheering in the last halt. When she left the stadium meeting Die Queen Isabell Werth in the ring the queen shared a high-five with young “Lottie” on her way out, true sportsmanship in full view. Charlotte Fry and Glamourdale scored 82.508 percent and took over the lead securing a top podium place. Isabell Werth and DSP Quantaz delivered their best ride to date, but the percentage did not suffice for a podium place. British gold, Danish silver, and a Dutch bronze medal in the Blue Hors FEI World Dressage Grand Prix Special Championship.
Quotes from riders.
Gold medalist Charlotte Fry, Great Britain
“I really felt I had to do something extra today because we came in straight after Cathrine and we tried our best. Today I actually heard the crowd being loud in my canter work and it was amazing. Yesterday I had problems with the pirouettes, but Isabell Werth gave me some pointers to work with and it was much better today, she is simply the best, such a nice person and she has been my idol since I was a kid. Glamourdale is nothing short of amazing right now, and yet I know so many things I know we can work on to improve, it is only his first season. “
Silver medalist Cathrine Laudrup-Dufour, Denmark
“I had a much better ride today, a little blip in the two-tempis. Vamos was really fantastic in the ring, we enjoyed ourselves immensely and the crowd do a bloody good job supporting me in the ring. In a sense I try to bring out the feeling I had on Cassidy on my other horses. Vamos Amigos is the cutest little gelding, and he just loves the stadium, the audience and the whole atmosphere.”
Bronze Dinja van Liere, Netherlands
"The venue is really great, and everything is so well arranged. He was a little impressed by the arena, but we had a job to do, and he did it although even though he spooked a bit for me. He is such a clown; he is really enthusiastic. He is so fun to work with and really talented. My trainer Rieky Young and she helps me also as a mental trainer as I am quite new to this level."