A NEW star is born. Germany’s Jessica von Bredow-Werndl has been crowned the Olympic champion in dressage on her debut, beating compatriot Isabell Werth and Bella Rose 2 into silver, while Britain’s Charlotte Dujardin earned her sixth Olympic medal when taking bronze with Gio.
35-year-old von Bredow-Werndl rode the 14-year-old mare TSF Dalera to a winning score of 91.73% after topping every day of dressage and helping Germany to team gold 24 hours earlier. It was also a personal best performance and the first time the duo went over the 90% mark, riding to the music of La La Land, which received a score of 10 from every judge.
Von Bredow-Werndl was second to go in the last group of six riders and had an anxious wait until the end. Werth and her 17-year-old superstar mare Bella Rose also wowed the judges but didn’t manage to break the 90% mark, scoring 89.65% to repeat her silver medal-winning performance from Rio 2016. The former Olympic champion, who won the title in 1996, is the most decorated Olympic equestrian athlete of all time with a total of 12 medals, seven of them gold.
Dujardin also had tears of joy when her place on the podium was confirmed. There were some question marks when she choose to take the young Gio to Tokyo, ahead of her more experienced mount, but it paid off in spades when, in just their third ever international Freestyle, they smashed their personal best to score 88.54%.
Dujardin’s bronze medal means she becomes the most decorated British female Olympian with six medals – three gold, one silver and two bronze. “That’s pretty cool isn’t it. It’s unbelievable. I feel so lucky to have come away with this and I’m honoured to be here to represent my country,” the 2012 and 2016 gold medal winner said.
Denmark’s Catherine Dufour missed the podium by just 1% with Bohemian to finish fourth, ahead of perhaps the breakout rider of the Games, USA’s Sabine Schut-Kery and Sanceo in fifth (84.30%). The Netherlands’ Edward Gal was sixth after nursing the incredible nine-year-old stallion Total US around his first Games to score 84.15%. He looks like a star of the future.
MORE TO FOLLOW AND FULL COVERAGE IN SATURDAY’S THE IRISH FIELD.