Three days before the start of Compiègne’s Internationaux de Dressage, the various nations have finally announced the members of their delegations. Once again a rendezvous of excellence in every class at Compiègne. Denmark, the reigning World champion and last year’s Nations Cup winner here, is fielding a very strong team while France, which has been on the up for several months now, has what it takes to get close to the podium.

Patrik Kittel & Touchdown in 2023

The list of entries for the 2024 Internationaux de Dressage of Compiègne is certainly promising. With several riders ranked in the world’s top 20, the equestrian stadium is guaranteed to see some fierce competition. The second of the three legs of the FEI Nations Cup circuit, the Compiègne leg is also a great opportunity to enjoy watching some of the couples destined to shine this summer in the gardens of the Château de Versailles. In the CDIO5*, the various competitors will also have the chance to impress a jury presided over by France’s Raphaël Saleh, who will also be present this summer at the biggest rendezvous of the year.

On paper, Denmark, the reigning World champions and last year’s winners at Compiègne, will be the favourites with three riders ranked among the World’s top 15. The World n°4, Nanna Skodborg Merrald has chosen to partner St Schufro, 2nd in the Grand Prix and GP Freestyle in Lyon World Cup leg and 1st in Herning’s GP Freestyle in 2023. She will be accompanied by Carina Cassøe Krüth (n°12) with Heiline’s Danciera, a member of the World Championship team, seventh at the Tokyo Olympic Games and winner of the Grand Prix and Grand Prix Special at Compiègne last year. Daniel Bachmann Andersen (n°14) on Vayron completes the Danish team.

Sixth last year at Compiègne and then the author of a very good European Championship last summer, also with a sixth place but above all four qualified in the Grand Prix Special and two in the Freestyle Grand Prix, the French team has shown great progress over the last few months. The Nations Cup at this 2024 edition of Compiègne’s Internationaux  de Dressage could be the perfect opportunity for them to confirm their rise to prominence. To achieve this, coach Jean Morel will be drawing on the results of the Grand Prix at the recent CDI 5* in Fontainebleau. He has chosen Pauline Basquin with Sertorius de Rima Z IFCE, the world’s No. 13 and France’s top dressage rider, who achieved a personal best in the Fontainebleau’s Grand Prix with a score of 73.543% and nearly 80% in the Freestyle (79.890%). Corentin Pottier and Gotilas du Feuillard as well as Alexandre Ayache with Jolène will also be wearing the French team colours. Although the Olympic Games in Versailles this summer are the ultimate objective, the team’s coach will undoubtedly draw many lessons from the weekend in Compiègne. In any case, ‘’the selections for Versailles have not yet been made,” explained Jean Morel. ‘’The race is open and the CDIO 5* at Compiègne will allow us to slim down our choices. I’ll be submitting my  long list  at the end of June, with a definitive list on the 6th of July. I’ve already got a small idea but nothing is definitive. And I’m used to giving surprises, so…“.

Patrik Kittel, one of the events most loyal competitors, is probably still celebrating following his recent victory in the World Cup final with Touchdown, and will be leading the 2021 and 2022 winners Sweden. He will of course be resting his star horse after his exploits and will be coming to Compiègne with Jovian, a young 10-year-old KWPN stallion whom he has only been riding since March. The team will also include Juliette Ramel and Maria von Essen.

Germany, a huge dressage nation, has chosen Frederic Wandres (n°7) with Duke of Britain, team bronze medallist at the 2022 European Championships and still performing strongly at 17, Mathias Alexander Rath (n°11) present with Thiago GS Old as at the last European Championships, and Katharina Hemmer with Denoix PCH, winner last December of the Grand Prix and Grand Prix Special at the CDI 5* in Frankfurt (GER).

As for the British team, the reigning European champions, spectators will be closely following 19-year-old Annabella Pidgley riding Gio, the former Olympic ride of Charlotte Dujardin (3rd at the Tokyo Games). Following a return to the arena in mid-April at a CDI 3* in the Netherlands, after a year off of the international circuit, the pair are seeking a return to centre stage.

Belgium is another team to keep an eye on, with Larissa Pauluis (Flambeau), Flore De Winne (Flynn FRH) and Charlotte Defalque (Boticelli) ranked 25th, 26th and 27th in the World respectively.

The Netherlands, Portugal, Spain and Australia will also be competing in the Nations Cup.

Most of the riders entered in the CDIO 5* will also be in the starting blocks of the CDI3* (and sometimes in the CDI 1*) with horses that may be less experienced but whom are already performing very well. The event will also provide an opportunity to see renowned riders such as Sweden’s Tinne Vilhelmson Silfven, competing with her two best horses, Hyatt and Esperance. The opportunity also for France to bring out all their troops. The home nation will be counting on Alexandre Ayache (Ruling Olivia), Bernard Bosseaux (Rilkadora Z), Caroline Godin (Queridade Hus), Camille Judet Cheret (Herelja Higgins), Arnaud Serre (James Bond de Massa) and Gilles Siauve (Feneton).

And among the young

The event reserved for the under-25s could well see France’s come under the spotlight with Alexandre Chéret on Bamona or Mado Pinto with Sirano de Luxe. But watch out for Belgium’s Suraya Hendrikx on Dear Friend 2 and Spain’s Carla de la Fuente de Pablos with Fito.

CDI Young Riders
The line-up will be marked by Denmark’s Sophia Ludvigsen, World n°3. Belgium’s Jette De Jong (n°12), riding her top horse Heavenly Charming, will also be making her presence felt. Alexandre Cheret, with Doruto, should be France’s best chance.

CDI Juniors
World No. 1 in her category, France’s Anna Dupuy with her mare Jarina des Vallées will be favourites in this competition. Dutch rider Kebie Raaijmakers (n°8), with Kevita, should be her main rival.

CDI Ponies
With ten entered, the Netherlands will be out in force and will be counting on Sissi Gijsen and New Star 8, n°4 in the FEI rankings.

CDI Children
Dutch pairs Esmae Niessen (n°1) on Dadona Diva and Levi Heusinkveld (n°8) on Harimann should share the top places. France will be counting on Ninon Dupuy Pelardy on Scolari and Helea Ferrand on Boliche des Gachots.


Caval’Show, on Sunday, to close the competition

A firm favourite with spectators, the closing show at Compiègne’s Internationaux de Dressage has become a not-to-be-missed event. On Sunday the 5th of May, from 3pm, the multi-disciplinary troupe, Caval’Show, (displays of horses in liberty, acrobatics, artistic tableaux, dressage, etc.)  will be putting on an impressive equestrian show combining the elegance, grace and power of horses with artistic performances. This captivating production is the work of renowned equestrian display artist Benoit Soumille, his troupe of talented riders and their magnificent horses of various breeds. The Caval’Show is a fascinating journey through the equestrian world, creating emotion and wonder.

Free entry and parking / Catering on-site