Charlotte Dujardin brought the third day of competition to a sizzling finale at the Hartpury Festival of Dressage. With a drawn order time of 19:06, crowds stayed on to enjoy the first of two opportunities to see Mount St John Freestyle at this show.
The Hanoverian daughter of Fidermark was well worth the wait, pulling out all the stops in the Hazlewoods FEI CDI Grand Prix and posting a score of 81.891%. Despite just falling short of the 82.979% earned at Bolesworth in the Grand Prix Special, owner of Mount St John Stud, Emma Blundell, was duly delighted.
“Freestyle is in great form and we can’t wait for Saturday,” said Emma. “She’ll be performing to her own music for the first time so it will be a really special moment for all involved”.
Mount St John Freestyle has now won 11 of her 13 career starts and is yet to be beaten at Grand Prix level.
The afternoon proved a star-studded affair with Carl Hester and Hawtins Delicato also drawn late in the afternoon. The pair posted an impressive score of 76.543% and the son of Diamond Hit replicated his Bolesworth Grand Prix Special placing, finishing in second.
Gareth Hughes was in particularly good form on Friday following up an earlier win on Sintano Van Hof Olympia in the Freeflex FEI CDI Prix St Georges (72.324%), with a third placing aboard Classic Briolinca in the Grand Prix (75.696%).
Gareth’s Prix St Georges performance meant long-time leader Luis Principe had to settle for second place on a score of 72.235%.
Young equine talent was on show in the Hartpury Arena in the Hickstead National and International 5 and 6-year-old classes.
In the Hickstead National, Abigail Lyle took the top spot with the De Niro bred gelding Jefferson P on a score of 8.1. In the international equivalent, it was the Franziskus bred gelding Time Will Tell that reigned supreme under Martina Ott. Michael Eilberg’s Hickstead National 6-year-old class was won by the Dante Weltino bred MSJ Dante VX on a score of 8.82 with the international equivalent won by Mia Mordecai-Smith and the Johnson-sired Innocent with a score of 7.6.
In the CPEDI3* Freestyle, Sophie Wells and C Fatal Attraction won the Grade V competition with an upbeat test that scored 80.140%. In the Grade IV, double world silver medallist Rodolpho Riskalla and Don Henrico of Brazil earned 76.860%, beating off nearest rival Kate Shoemaker of the USA who is making her European debut at the show.
Great Britain’s Erin Orford and Dior (74.867%), Georgia Wilson and Midnight Z (76.540%), and Mari Durward-Akhurst and Sky O’Hara (72.960%) took top honours in the remaining Grades III, II and I respectively.