“Our best performance!”

Coming from the world champion Charlotte Fry, who was already amazing last summer when she won the title in Herning (DEN), the words give you an idea of the great show enjoyed by the large crowd that came to watch the Grand Prix Freestyle Cheval TV on Saturday during the CDI5* of the Printemps des Sports Equestres in Fontainebleau (FRA). And the judges certainly seemed to agree with the British rider, awarding her and her star stallion Glamourdale the excellent score of 89.360% for a superb performance that bodes well for the European Championship this summer, and the Olympic Games next summer, in which the couple will inevitably play a major role.

“Glamourdale was already in great form yesterday for the Grand Prix, even though he made a few small mistakes. He was really fresh and enthusiastic, and I have to admit that I was really aiming to put in one of our best performances today. And I think that’s what happened. I had a great feeling, he was still really positive today, he enjoyed every second of our routine to the full. Everything went according to plan, with no mistakes. I think I’ve just experienced our best ever performance together. To be honest, I don’t think he could have done much better than he did.”

She continued, “Obviously, the Paris 2024 Olympic Games are our main objective, and we are taking things as they come, day by day. The main challenge will be to keep Glamourdale in a good mindset, to ensure that he remains happy to go out and compete, and that he continues to enjoy his work as a competition horse. He will tell us what rhythm and the schedule to adopt, according to his needs. He is not the kind of horse that needs to do a lot of shows; he loves competing and is always really excited and always does his best. So, we’ll try to make sure he stays true to himself.

“He is a very expressive horse: when I meet him in the stables, I can tell if he is happy or if he needs a few more carrots (laughs). He’s quite a character! ”

In second place, behind the British couple, the German Dorothee Schneider put in a great performance too and obtained a score of 82.250% on First Romance 2, who was taking part in his first CDI 5* this weekend, performing just the second Freestyle to Music of his career this afternoon. The experienced Spaniard Juan Antonio Jimenez Cobo took third place in this Grand Prix Freestyle Cheval TV, with an average of 78,970%, riding with Euclides Mor. The best-ranked French couple, Corentin Pottier on Gotilas du Feuillard, were fifth with 77.530, his personal best in this exercise.

Dorothee Schneider remarked, “First of all, I would like to thank the organisers of this CDI5* for this superb competition. I was delighted to take part in the Printemps des Sports Equestres, especially with this amazing horse. I would also like to thank the owners of First Romance 2 for the trust they have placed in me to manage the horse’s sporting career over the past seven years. I know this horse really well, he’s got so much talent. But today was our first CDI 5* and only the second time he has ridden a Freestyle to Music, so I have to admit I am over the moon.

“Yesterday already, everything went really well, after a long six-month period without competing. He still managed to stay very focused. He was a little tense when he entered the arena, probably overwhelmed by its size. But he relaxed quite quickly and I am really proud of him and the freestyle we did here in Fontainebleau.”

For Sylvie Robert, President of GL events Equestrian Sport, organiser of the Printemps des Sports Equestres, the organisation of this first CDI 5* was a “real challenge and our partners’ support really contributed to its success. The objective was to showcase this discipline on the exceptional site of the Grand Parquet de Fontainebleau, which has been so beautifully renovated in recent years. The world’s top dressage riders also gave us their backing at this event, and we are really grateful.”

Complete results here.