Valegro and Charlotte Dujardin have done it again: gold in Freestyle

British dressage wonders Valegro and Charlotte Dujardin have added the second world championship title to their collection, making the gelding a true one-and-only Number 1 dressage horse of the world, holding every possible title at the same time. On a score of 92.161 the pair won the Freestyle of the Alltech FEI World Equestrian Games.

Valegro and Charlotte Dujardin have done it again: gold in Freestyle
© PSV Photos

German Helen Langehanenberg and Damon Hill secured silver on 88.286 over Adelinde Cornelissen and Jerich Parzival (85.714). Petite Langehanenberg hugged her big dark chestnut “Dami” and blew kisses in every direction after her ride that she said “felt like his best freestyle ever”.  But again the pair missed out in the duel for top spot. 

For Adelinde Cornelissen the competition proved that the days of retirement are not there yet for Parzival. “We keep going as long as he rides like today.”  The Dutch bronze medallist and her 17-year old chestnut gelding turned the table on German team gold-medallist Kristina Sprehe and Desperados, who had bested them in the previous individual medal encounter at grand prix special.

To an artistic merit of 95.142 per cent, Dujardin had chosen the film music of “How to train a dragon” and Valegro, not scary dragon-like at all, mesmerized the spectators with his overall charisma and quality, again with pirouettes and piaffes like a metronome, dancing through his performance that has changed since his stunning Olympic success in London.

The world championship Freestyle was a day to shine for young-and comings like US-American Laura Graves, riding Dutch-bred brown gelding Verdades to fifth place or Victoria Max-Theurer from Austria, powerfully piloting Augustin closely following behind. And it was a slight disappointment for Swedish veteran Tine Vilhelmson-Silfven. At her third World Equestrian Games she made Don Auriello “wave” to the spectators, finishing in half-pirouettes changing direction as if greeting the public at both sides.  “At least I tried”, she said regarding her score for seventh place.

It was as if the Tour de France had arrived at D’Ornano Stadium when the top fifteen dressage horses of the world performed. The noise level was never higher, stunning some of the less experienced horses. The days of dressage  as a dead serious for-insiders-only are definitely over.

Top 5 results:

1.Charlotte Dujardin (GBR)/ Valegro – 92.161

2.Helen Langehanenberg (GER)/ Damon Hill FRH – 88.286

3.Adelinde Cornelissen (NED)/ Jerich Parzival – 85.714

4.Kristina Sprehe (GER)/ Desperados FRH –  83.125

5.Laura Graves (USA)/ Verdades – 82.036 

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