The world’s most successful dressage partnership, Charlotte Dujardin and Valegro are amongst the nominations for the Reem Acra FEI World Cup™ Dressage Leg supported by Horse & Hound at Olympia, The London International Horse Show on 16-22 December. It will be the first time Valegro has competed in the UK this year.
Dujardin, who was crowned Sunday Times & Sky Sports Sportswoman of the Year yesterday, last competed on Valegro in the UK at Olympia Horse Show in 2013. The formidable pair not only won both the World Cup Grand Prix and Freestyle but sent the Olympia audience into raptures by setting a new freestyle World Record with their London 2012 routine. Since then, Dujardin has added even more titles to her already impressive record, by winning the Reem Acra FEI World Cup™ Final in April before taking the World Championship title in Normandy in August.
Dujardin said: “I am very excited about taking Valegro to Olympia this year. I can’t wait to do my new floor plan in front of the home crowd. I actually think it is harder than my Olympic routine and so if I can get it right on the night I could possibly beat the world record I set last year. But obviously saying it and doing it are two very different things.”
Joining Dujardin at Olympia will be her mentor and GBR team mate Carl Hester who will be riding 10-year-old gelding, Nip Tuck on whom he won Team Silver at the World Equestrian Games. Completing the British line-up are Spencer Wilton, making his Olympia debut with his exciting new ride Numberto, Nikki Crisp with her own mare Passoa and Hannah Biggs with stallion Weltzin.
Dutch riders, Edward Gal and Danielle Heijkoop, who were placed second and third respectively behind Dujardin last year have been nominated this year alongside fellow Dutchman, Hans Peter Minderhoud – with his stallion, Glock's Johnson, who took the team bronze medal at the World Equestrian Games.
There are plenty of promising up and coming riders amongst the nominations, including brother and sister, Jessica von Bredow-Werndl and Benjamin Werndl from Germany. The siblings dominated in Pony and Young Rider Championships and Jessica has twice been German Champion since. Fellow German, Sonke Rothenberger - son of dressage riders Sven and Gonnelien Rothenberger - is also nominated to compete at Olympia for the first time. The 20-year-old won Team Gold at the European Young Riders and was seventh in his World Cup debut in Odense this year and could be one to watch for the future.
Potential new Olympia debuts this year are Rikke Svane (DEN), Agnete Kirk Thinggaard (DEN), Judy Reynolds (IRL), Juan Antonio Jiménez Cobo (ESP), Katja Gevers (NED) and Robert Schmerglatt (AUS).
The Reem Acra FEI World Cup™ Dressage Grand Prix takes place on Tuesday 16 December and concludes with the Reem Acra FEI World CupTM Dressage Freestyle on Wednesday 17 December. The Freestyle on Wednesday will be televised live on the BBC Red Button, Online & Connected TV starting at 20:00.
For more information visit the official website at www.olympiahorseshow.com