Charlotte Dujardin and Imhotep @RoyalWindsorHorseShow/Peter Nixon
Royal Windsor Horse Present 2023 acquired underway with The Defender CDI4* FEI Dressage Grand Prix, the standalone class for the primary day of the Present’s eightieth yr. Returning after a three-year hiatus, the Defender Dressage opens 5 days of top-class worldwide equestrian sport held within the personal grounds of Windsor Fortress, and ensures this prestigious venue is the one present within the UK to host worldwide competitions in Present Leaping, Dressage, Driving, and Endurance.
Twelve combos contested The Defender CDI4* FEI Dressage Grand Prix, together with three of the 4 British FEI World Championship squad who claimed workforce silver in Herning final summer season, and a robust British contingent ensured nice pleasure for the house crowd.
A improbable first check from Royal Windsor debutant Lewis Service scored a formidable 70.435% with Diego V to maintain him nicely up the rating and safe eventual fourth place. The Wiltshire-based 26-year-old, who presently trains with Carl Hester, rode a KWPN warmblood he has produced himself from a four-year-old. Following him into the ring, Louise Anne Bell and Into the Blue couldn’t fairly match Service’s rating to complete on 68.761%.
Third to go, Charlotte Dujardin, shaped an early lead with 77.261%. The joint-most adorned British feminine Olympian pulled off a reliably fashionable check aboard Coral Ingham and Carl Hester’s hanging gelding, Imhotep. The trip – Dujardin’s debut return to worldwide competitors following the start of her daughter, Isabella, in March this yr – proved a textbook efficiency, with the expressive chestnut producing fantastically elastic work to wow the gang within the well-known Fortress Enviornment.
Her FEI World Championship teammate, Gareth Hughes, was subsequent up with Traditional Briolinca. The 17-year-old mare by Trento B, who has been such a stalwart of the British dressage scene, impressed the judges with highlights within the passage and piaffe, however couldn’t fairly match the spectacular rating laid down by Dujardin.
British primarily based German rider, Kathleen Kröncke, with the 16-year-old San Royal 3, have been the final mixture to enter the ring earlier than the break. The pair who triumphed within the 2022 British Dressage Championships – the place they received the Grand Prix title – couldn’t fairly repeat their success and went into provisional fifth with 68.043%.
Charlotte’s lead was unrivalled because the second session progressed. First in after the break, Eire’s Abigail Lyle who rode Farrell scored 68.413% to maneuver forward of Kröncke by a fraction of a mark. Nevertheless, the remainder of the sector’s possibilities pale when Britain’s Emile Faurie got here to the fore with the gorgeous mare Bellevue, producing an correct and pleasing check within the afternoon daylight to fit in behind Dujardin and Hughes in third place with 71.826%.
On her return to prime stage competitors, Dujardin said: “I haven’t competed for 8 months, and Pete [Imhotep] hasn’t carried out a contest for the reason that FEI World Championships. I’ve solely been again driving for 3 weeks – so I used to be fearful I might be a bit ring rusty – however he was unimaginable and was so optimistic along with his power. There are nonetheless areas that we are able to enhance on which is thrilling – we at the moment are aiming for the FEI European Championships this summer season.”
Dujardin continued: “I’ve such wonderful recollections of Royal Windsor Horse Present having competed right here within the Displaying as a toddler – it has such a beautiful environment and to be again right here is simply so particular. It’s now Isabella’s time to assist Mummy and I hope I’ve carried out her proud.”
To seek out out extra about Royal Windsor Horse Present, or to ebook tickets, go to www.rwhs.co.uk.
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Niki McEwen / rEvolution / email@example.com