Please ensure Javascript is enabled for purposes of website accessibility FEI World Cup Grand Prix freestyle: Frederic Wandres steals the show again, Pauline Basquin puts on a great performance | Equita Lyon

PSV J.Morel

FEI World Cup Grand Prix freestyle: Frederic Wandres steals the show again, Pauline Basquin puts on a great performance

3 November 2023

Two wins in two days for Germany's Frederic Wandres, who took first place in the Grand Prix Freestyle presented by Generali on Friday, as part of the World Cup stage in Lyon. Having already won the Grand Prix presented by CRE-ARA on Thursday, the German rider went on to complete the double in the Freestyle to music class on Friday, with a superb score of 82.995, riding his extremely chic 13-year-old Oldenburg Bluetooth OLD, who was competing in Lyon for the first time. 

Against the backdrop of a soundtrack composed of Michael Jackson songs, the rider delivered a brilliant, punchy performance with a dynamic, expressive horse, which captured the imagination of the entire audience in the arena at Longines Equita Lyon. 

"It's just incredible to win here again! I felt great with Bluetooth OLD again today. I have really enjoyed my time here in Lyon, with the audience and with my horse. Yesterday, my horse was already amazing, but there's always room for improvement. After watching the Grand Prix video, I tried to do a little more in the piaffe. But, I made a mistake on one of the pirouettes after the extended canter. Despite that, he was still in great form, and we managed to put in a solid performance" said the champion as he left the arena. "This result is also down to the work we've been doing with the German team since the European Championship in the summer, which has help us achieve these two great performances. I have managed to be consistent and that's a quality that is often rewarded by the judges", explained Frederic Wandres, who now intends to take his horses to Florida to prepare for the major events scheduled for 2024, and only plans to take part in the Wellington competition while over there. 

Germany again; it seems the Germans have the knack of winning! This is the ninth time in the thirteen FEI Dressage World Cup Freestyle Grand Prix events held in Lyon that a German rider has won. However, nine other countries competing in the event had the opportunity to challenge Germany's domination. The Danish rider Nanna Skodborg Merrald was notably in prime position. 

However, on this second day of competition, she once again took second place on the podium with Blue Hors St. Schufro, with an average score of 82.995. The pair were enthusiastically cheered on by the audience in Lyon, who appreciated the performance of the handsome brown bay with his effortless gait and high movements, which made him look like a dancer. "It's the first time I've performed this freestyle-to-music routine and I really enjoyed it. I love the music and also the pirouette/step sequence. My horse wasn't involved in the first part of the season because he was set aside for breeding. So, I'm delighted to be here with him today in Lyon and to have been able to put in such a good performance," said the Danish rider. 

Pauline Basquin's great performance

Sometimes, third places are worth their weight in gold. And the crowd in Lyon appreciated the exceptional performance of Pauline Basquin, giving a standing ovation to the first French rider to reach the podium of a World Cup dressage event in Lyon. The Cadre Noir rider and her faithful Sertorius de Rima Z IFCE put on a fantastic performance, scoring 80.81 and smashing her personal best in the process. The French rider couldn't hide her delight and let her joy explode as the result was announced, raising her fist to the sky! 

"It's a great step forward, but above all it's due to the work and support of all the staff of the French national team, in particular Jean Morel (national coach) and Laurent Gallice (national technical advisor)," she said humbly. "Sertorius is more concentrated and has made progress with his tempi changes. But then again, the progress is not just on a technical level, it's a whole package". The enthusiastic support of the spectators in Lyon did not go unnoticed by Pauline Basquin: "I have to say that it's quite amazing to feel you are being pushed on by the public. During the routine, my horse was really with me and it was quite moving to feel the public behind us. I feel proud, but it's not just about me. I'm proud of my horse and proud for the whole French team. I'm proud of what we achieved today."  

Sylvie Robert, the President of the Longines Equita Lyon Concours International, was delighted with the success of the event: "I would like to thank the FEI for its ongoing confidence in entrusting us with the organisation of this World Cup stage, as well as the FFE and the Generali group, which enable us to continue hosting events of this scale. We had almost 7,000 people in the grandstands this afternoon. I'm also delighted to see French dressage making steady progress as the Paris 2024 Olympic Games approach."

As regards the other French representatives, Morgan Barbançon took sixth place with Habana Libre A, while Alexandre Ayache on Jolene and the French champion Arnaud Serre on James Bond de Massa finished twelfth and thirteenth respectively. 

View the results here: 


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