Emotions Run High on First Day of London International Horse Show 2023

(Last Updated On: December 14, 2023)
Lottie Fry riding Everdale @LondonInternationalHorseShow/Peter Nixon

The 2023 edition of the London International Horse Show began with the FEI Dressage World Cup Grand Prix presented by Bret Willson Dressage International Ltd and supported by Horse & Hound taking centre stage in the International Arena, which saw Britian’s Charlotte Dujardin and Imhotep victorious. Prior to this, a poignant celebration was shared by many with the remarkable Emma Webb, who finished her phenomenal 157.85 mile walk whilst towing ‘Miles’, a life-size resin horse, from the David Broome Event Centre to the London International Horse Show, raising money for Papyrus (Prevention of Youth Suicide) and Riders’ Minds.

A BATTLE OF THE BRITS ON THE FIRST DAY OF DRESSAGE

Fifteen horse and rider combinations from nine different nations contested the first competition of the London International Horse Show 2023; the FEI Dressage World Cup Grand Prix, presented by Bret Willson Dressage International Ltd and supported by Horse & Hound. First to go was Germany’s pair of Kathleen Kröncke and 13-year-old bay mare, Uniteds Maerchen, who set the standard from the outset, delivering a stunning test to finish on a score of 70.695%. The four combinations to follow were unable to top Kröncke’s mark; however, defending champion and World No. 2, Lottie Fry, aboard the superstar stallion, Everdale, usurped Kröncke from the top spot. The British combination lived up to home-crowd expectations, performing a meticulously executed test, captivating the audience with Everdale’s cautious yet beautiful extensions alongside faultless flying changes across the diagonal of the International Arena, setting them up to take the lead and finish on a score of 77.435%.

The home crowd was pleased to see this proud British performance followed up by Becky Moody and Jagerbomb’s impressive compilation of movements, which meant they finished on a score of 75.087%, putting the Yorkshire-based combination just behind Fry and Everdale in second place.

Twelfth to go, Morgan Barbançon and 17-year-old bay gelding Sir Donnerhall II from France challenged the British lead, providing a performance that placed them in third position. However, Denise Nekeman and Boston STH of the Netherlands soon topped this and pushed the French combination off the podium.

Last to go was London International Horse Show legend, Charlotte Dujardin, who broke the Grand Prix World Record aboard Valegro in front of home fans back in 2014. This time riding the 10-year-old Imhotep, the British dressage star reigned supreme, finishing on the only score above 80; 81.761% – making it a British 1-2-3 at the London International Horse Show.

FEI Dressage World Cup Grand Prix winner said on her victory: “It’s Imhotep’s first indoor show, so for him to come here – to this incredible Show with an amazing set up and atmosphere – and perform so well with no experience is amazing! I missed coming to the London International Horse Show so much last year and am so happy to be back, this time it being even more special with my daughter Isabella watching me.”

About the FEI Dressage World Cup Freestyle to Music, Dujardin continued: “I am so excited for tomorrow. I absolutely love the Freestyle to Music; it’s the party piece! Who knows how Imhotep will go; fingers crossed he will be okay. He’s such a fantastic horse and I love him to bits. If he needs me to hold his hand, I can hold his hand. I can feel him breathe and I can reassure him and it’s the most incredible feeling. To have the opportunity to go into that arena and do that performance is all very exciting.”

AMAZING EMMA WEBB AND MILES CULMINATE THEIR 157.8 MILE WALK, RAISING MONEY FOR PAPYRUS AND RIDERS’ MINDS

Between 25 November and 13 December, Emma Webb has walked an astonishing 157.8 miles, whilst towing ‘Miles’ – a life-size resin horse – from the David Broome Event Centre in Chepstow to the London International Horse Show. Raising money for Papyrus (Prevention of Youth Suicide) and Riders’ Minds, Emma has been walking to pay tribute to her daughter Brodie, who sadly died in March 2020.

Emma and Miles crossed the finish line outside the West end doors to the London International Horse Show venue, joined by many supporters, who were all ecstatic to see Emma complete this phenomenal feat for such an important cause. 

If you wish to support Emma, you can donate via doitforbrodie.co.uk.

THE PORTUGUESE LUSITANOS AND THE KING’S TROOP ROYAL HORSE ARTILLERY ARE HARD AT WORK REHERSING FOR THEIR DISPLAYS

This year’s London International Horse Show line-up of acts, which include the The Pride of Portugal Lusitano display and the Musical Drive of the King’s Troop Royal Horse Artillery, have been hard at work rehearsing onsite this week. The Lusitanos are returning to London after a seven-year hiatus to deliver a spectacular dressage to music performance, highlighting the beauty of the unique Lusitano breed. The Musical Drive of the King’s Troop Royal Horse Artillery involves soldiers riding and controlling teams of horses with the utmost skill to pull wheeled guns at high speed, and promises thrilling entertainment whilst also demonstrating the historic manoeuvres that were employed during the First World War.

More information about The London International Horse Show can be found at www.londonhorseshow.com.

For more information, please contact: Niki McEwen / rEvolution / nmcewen@revolutionworld.com

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