FEI dressage World Cup: all eyes on the queens of dressage
The gentleman can but look on in admiration! The FEI Dressage World Cup in Lyon, organised as part of the Longines Equita Lyon International Equestrian Competition (30 October - 3 November), will treat spectators to a line-up of prestigious riders, the like of which has rarely been seen in French dressage competitions.
Charlotte Dujardin, participating for the first time in the FEI World Cup stage in Lyon
Her last (and only) appearance in the main arena at Lyon-Eurexpo was in 2014, during the FEI Dressage World Cup Final, organised by Sylvie Robert's team. Moreover, it was in Lyon that the English star, riding her legendary horse Valegro, won her first Final. Already a two-time winner of the World Cup title (Lyon 2014, Las Vegas 2015), a three-time Olympic champion (London 2012 team and individual, Rio 2016 individual), world champion in 2014, a five-time gold medal winner at the European championships between 2011 and 2015, Charlotte Dujardin has made the 2019-2020 FEI Dressage World Cup her main objective for this winter. After her early elimination at the 2019 European Championship, during which she and her horse Mount St John Freestyle still beat her own record in the Grand Prix (81.91%), "Queen Charlotte" is aiming to qualify for the 2020 Final in Las Vegas, with here young ten-year old mare. Since winning her titles in Lyon in 2014 and Las Vegas in 2015, Charlotte Dujardin has only competed in three FEI World Cup stages: London in 2015 and 2018, and Amsterdam in 2016. This season, she should be taking part in at least three stages, including Lyon.
Will the ever-faithful Isabell Werth win for a fifth time in Lyon?
While the English rider Charlotte Dujardin took the title in Lyon in 2014, the German rider Isabell Werth has dominated the stage since then. Having won the FEI World Cup in Lyon in 2010 and then in 2016, 2017 and 2018, the living-legend of dressage is full of praise when it comes to talking about the only French stage on the circuit. Moreover, she supported the city's candidacy, when Sylvie Robert's team was putting forward its application to organise a World Cup dressage competition to the FEI. In 2019, the Mannschaft will be sending another of its brilliant stars to compete in Lyon, since Jessica von Bredow-Werndl, bronze medallist this summer at the European Championship, will also be present at the Longines Equita Lyon International Equestrian Competition. She will be riding Zaire-E, with which she finished second at the FEI World Cup in Budapest at the end of September.
As for the gentlemen rider, some serious contenders are in the running
The Dutchman Hans Peter Minderhoud, who won the 2016 FEI Dressage World Cup Final, is expected to compete in Lyon with his 15-year-old stallion Glock's Zanardi. The Swedish rider Patrik Kittel, who regularly competes at the Lyon stage of the FEI Dressage World Cup, will be taking part with his gelding Delaunay OLD, with which he has climbed up this month's world ranking (from the 20th to the 13th place). In fact, the couple won the recent FEI World Cup stage in Budapest, ahead of Jessica von Bredow-Werndl.
The French riders, led by Morgan Barbançon-Mestre
In Budapest, Kittel finished ahead of the German rider von Bredow-Werndl... and the French rider Morgan Barbançon-Mestre, who was third at the Hungarian stage of the World Cup, on Sir Donnerhall II OLD - and the couple actually beat their personal record in the Grand Prix Freestyle with a time of 77.75%! Morgan and "Gus" (the affectionate nickname the rider has given to her stallion) will head up a large French delegation in Lyon. The spectators at the Longines Equita Lyon Equestrian Competition will also have the opportunity to get behind other French riders, including Stéphanie Brieussel on Amorak, Anne-Sophie Serre on Actuelle de Massa, and Alexandre Ayache on Zo What.
The entrance ticket to the show also entitles visitors to attend the Lyon stage of the FEI Dressage World CupTM. On the Thursday, in order to allow spectators to be comfortably seated in the stands as of 8a.m., the doors to the show will open at 7:30a.m. for people who already have their entrance tickets.