Jessica von Bredow-Werndl (GER) – FEI/Richard Juilliart
The German duo of Jessica von Bredow-Werndl and the fabulous TSF Dalera BB claimed the coveted FEI Dressage World Cup™ title for the second time of their spectacular profession when successful the deciding Freestyle competitors on the 2023 collection Ultimate in Omaha, USA.
They arrived on the American fixture as agency favourites however seemed weak in Wednesday’s Grand Prix when the 16-year-old mare was super-excited to return to competitors after a number of months’ break.
Dalera was proper again within the zone that noticed this famous person partnership scoop all gold on the Tokyo 2020 Olympic Video games and once more on the FEI European Championships in 2021 earlier than placing their names on the FEI Dressage World Cup™ Roll of Honour 12 months in the past in Leipzig (GER).
It appeared possible that Wednesday’s Grand Prix consequence, through which von Bredow-Werndl’s compatriot and longtime legend, Isabell Werth, completed second with DSP Qantaz and Denmark’s Nanna Skodborg Merrald and Blue Horse Zepter completed third, could be replicated. However the Danish pair, who appears to have come out of nowhere in the previous couple of months, produced a spectacular efficiency to demote five-time collection champion Werth to the third step of the rostrum this time round.
The sector was additional decreased to 13 starters following the withdrawal of The Netherlands’ Marieke van der Putten’s Torveslettens Titanium RS2, however the Omaha crowd had been nonetheless handled to a feast of incredible sport. They didn’t maintain again when the riders inspired them to hitch in with the joy.
Second into the ring, Lithuania’s Justina Vanagaite had them proper behind her as she rode her one-handed closing line with Nabab, but it surely was Simone Pearce and Fiderdance who had been holding the lead on the midway stage when the Australian rider’s cheeky wave on the crowd earlier than coming to a halt was adopted by the very best rating to this point, 76.575.
Raised the sport
The final remaining Dutch contender, Thamar Zweistra, raised the sport when the motion resumed with an excellent check from Hexagon’s Ich Weiss that put 78.204 on the board. “I used to be actually pleased with him,” she stated. “The one-tempis had been superb; he did about 25 in a row and he was actually relaxed. I had a number of enjoyable. He has a number of power and that’s what I like about him; he’s all the time keen to work!”
However with 4 left to go, it was Werth and DSP Qantaz who set the brand new commonplace when posting 85.671 for a efficiency that oozed class. The smile on her face confirmed that 31 years after she first received the distinguished FEI Dressage World Cup™ title, the 53-year-old athlete is having fun with herself as a lot as ever. The group adored her Bonnie Tyler themed musical rating, bursting into wild applause as she drew to a halt. She was nonetheless laughing with delight herself after leaving the ring, realizing that she had nailed her powerful floorplan.
“It was tremendous and I used to be so blissful! This was our greatest Freestyle collectively, and he was so with me that it was excellent! I actually love this Freestyle – it’s so tough and there’s no time to breathe or to consider what’s going on – I’m in a single tunnel and every step has to return after the following and it labored actually excellent as we speak!” she stated.
Then von Bredow-Werndl took the ground, and with mesmerising piaffe/passage and half-passes in each trot and canter that appear much more fluent than ever earlier than, they soared out in entrance when placing a large 90.482 on the board.
“She was unbelievable; she went in with no moist hair (sweat) as a result of I didn’t do lots exterior, however she was so moist due to the environment. It was actually sizzling in there and he or she once more was a little bit bit scared, however she trusted me 100%; that was the distinction tonight. I used to be assured and we had been mirroring one another; she was assured and I obtained assured. She was excited however she trusted me from the very first step,” the delighted 37-year-old rider stated.
America’s Steffen Peters, collection champion in Las Vegas (USA) again in 2009, was second-last to go and, all the time a crowd-pleaser and particularly on dwelling floor, he slotted in behind Werth with a mark of 83.921. Now solely Skodborg Merrald and Blue Hors Zepter had been left to run, and it appeared the highest two locations had been already determined, however the Danish duo had been having none of that.
There’s one thing very particular in regards to the relationship these two have established in a really quick time. The chestnut gelding, previously ridden by each her Danish counterpart Daniel Bachmann Andersen and Sweden’s Patrik Kittel, is blossoming like by no means earlier than, although he’s already 15 years previous.
“He was actually on hearth. I needed to be so cautious all the best way round; it was a bit tough to return again after prolonged canter, however I’m so thrilled! My journey with him has been so quick; we now have solely been collectively for 4 months and I’ve the sensation I can ask for a lot extra – he’s superb!” she stated after posting 87.146, which put her onto the second step of the rostrum.
She sees even better potential within the 12 months forward. “To attain larger, I have to get to know him higher, however for now I simply have to take it straightforward and be pleased with the best way it’s, and I believe it should come slowly. The judges should get to know him additionally,” stated the 29-year-old athlete who, with Zepter’s sire Blue Hors Zack, was a member of the Danish group that made historical past with victory finally summer season’s FEI Dressage European Championship on dwelling soil in Herning (DEN).
“He offers such an incredible feeling; he needs to take action a lot. Already within the warm-up, I might really feel it and I puzzled if I ought to have labored him extra within the morning, as a result of we solely did strolling,” she defined.
“However I simply needed to work with him and make him snug and get him to take heed to me, and he offers such an excellent feeling. The one factor I wish to change now could be the music, as a result of I believe the theme is a bit bizarre – ‘Time to say goodbye’. It’s pretty music and it suits him completely, however the theme might be a little bit happier so I’ll change that!” she stated with conviction.
New double-champion, von Bredow-Werndl, received’t be altering her French-themed Freestyle music anytime quickly, and insisted that it’s “only a good coincidence” that she has adopted it forward of the Paris 2024 Olympic Video games.
“I all the time cherished (French singer) Édith Piaf… this music offers me goosebumps, particularly on the final centreline,” she stated.
Speaking about her return to the game simply a few months after giving start to her second baby, daughter Ella Marie, who arrived final August throughout the FEI World Championship, she stated, “It’s only a ardour to get again within the saddle as quickly as attainable, as a result of I simply love what I do and so do my horses, and so they made it fairly straightforward for me to return again that quick!”
Her second win places Germany on stage pegging with The Netherlands with 13 wins every on this collection, which in 2023 celebrates its thirty sixth anniversary. She has a protracted solution to go to meet up with compatriot Werth, who has 5 wins underneath her belt, or Dutch famous person Anky van Grunsven, who recorded an exceptional 9 victories throughout her superb profession. However with Dalera, she is out on her personal proper now.
“Dalera is such a particular creature to have in my life. She makes the whole lot attainable – she is a dream!” stated the newly topped 2023 FEI Dressage World Cup™ champion.
by Louise Parkes