Dujardin and Gio Win Grand Prix for Kur at 2021 CDI 4* Hagen

Fri, 04/23/2021 - 07:33
2021 CDI Hagen
Charlotte Dujardin and Gio win the Grand Prix for Kur at the 2021 CDI Hagen :: Photo © Petra Kerschbaum

Double Olympic champion Charlotte Dujardin travelled to Hof Kasselmann in Hagen, Germany, to compete against the world elite from Germany, Denmark, Sweden and Russia that is gathering there for the 4* dressage competition, the first major outdoor show on the European mainland since the second corona lockdown. 

Sports Edition with World Elite

The 2021 edition of Horses & Dreams is being held behind closed doors and therefore named "Sports Edition" instead of partnering up with a new guesst host country. In 2020 Japan was the host nation, but due to the outbreak of the corona pandemic in the spring of 2020 "Horses and Dreams Meets Japan" did not take place. Japan is now honoured in this year's edition of the show and with a severely thinned out FEI calendar this spring, all top riders jumped at the opportunity of competing again in a top setting in Hagen, where five out of seven Olympic judges officiating. 

While traditionally Germany, Denmark and Sweden send their best to Hagen, it's been since 2012 that Carl Hester and Charlotte Dujardin made the journey to Hagen. In preparation of Tokyo British team selection, the duo entered their top horses and will give the Germans a run for their money. 

Dujardin and Gio Win GP for Kur

Frederic Wandres and Duke of Britain
In the CDI4* Grand Prix for Kur, Preis vom Helenenhof - Familie Schwiebert, everyone was particularly excited about the ride of Charlotte Dujardin (GBR) and her young hope Gio. The eager 10-year old KWPN gelding by Apache x Tango did not disappoint in his first performance outside of England: Dujardin knew how to use his energy well, the pair received many 8's, especially in the Piaffe-Passage Tour.

The judging panel, consisting of Marietta Almasy, Magnus Ringmark, Peter Holler, Hans-Christian Matthiesen and Henning Lehrmann, unanimously ranked her first and rewarded the test with a winning 78.761%.

The home advantage was used by Frederic Wandres (GER) with Hof Kasselmann's 14-year old British bred Hanoverian gelding Duke of Britain (by Dimaggio x Rubinstein). He finished as runner-up with 75.957%.

Close behind them was Nanna Skodborg Merrald (DEN) on the seasoned, 17-year old Dutch warmblood stallion Blue Hors Zack  (by Rousseau x Jazz). The pair is on an ambitious campaign to secure a slot on the Danish Olympic team and their Hagen score of 75.739% and third place is putting them more and more into consideration for team selection. 

Nanna Skodborg Merrald on Blue Hors Zack
The fourth placed went to Finnish Henri Ruoste who has been on a smooth campaign with his own and Jochen Arl's 11-year old Belgian warmblood gelding Kontestro DB (by Contendro x Cassini). The pair has consistently been scoring in the mid seventy range and it was no different in Hagen where they placed fourth with 74.935%. The judges differed in their individual scores though, which Ruoste's low score being 70.870% and his high score 77.826%.

The top five was completed by the Dutch based British rider Charlotte Fry on the 12-year old KWPN stallion Everdale (by Lord Leatherdale x Negro). The duo posted 73.804%. 

Photos © Petra Kerschbaum

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