The list of riders competing at the Compiègne International Dressage Championships is breathtaking. Germany’s Isabell Werth, the most medalled rider of all time with multiple Olympic and World titles, Great Britain’s Charlotte Dujardin, also an Olympic gold medallist and World record holder, Holland’s Adelinde Cornelissen, Olympic silver medallist in London, Sweden’s Patrik Kittel, past winner at Compiègne, Morgan Barbançon Mestre, France’s leading rider, and so many others have made Compiègne an unmissable rendezvous in their diaries! With 27 nations, the sport on offer from the 19th to the 22nd of May, in a completely renovated Grand Parc Equestrian Stadium, promises to be exceptional.
It’s hard to imagine a better line-up! Deprived of the public last year due to the health crisis, the Internationaux de dressage de Compiègne will offer the large number of expected spectators a top level event with the presence of some of the most successful riders of recent years. Starting in the CDIO 5* with the greatest, “the Queen” Isabell Werth, who will be bringing DSP Quantaz, a horse with whom she is ranked 6th in the World. Facing this immense German champion, enthusiasts will have the pleasure of seeing Adelinde Cornelissen again, one of the most titled riders in all sports. At the highest level just a few years ago with Jerich Parzival, the Dutch rider will be partnering Fleau de Baian in Compiègne, an 12 year old stallion. A regular at this meeting, which he won last year with Well Done de la Roche CMF, Sweden’s Patrik Kittel will be present this time with Touchdown. Amongst the World’s top 10 and also used to the arenas at Compiègne, Great Britain’s Charlotte Fry will be a serious contender with Glamourdale, an 11-year-old stallion, World Champion for 7-year-olds in 2018, and recent winner of the CDI 4* in Opglabeek (Belgium), achieving a score of over 80% in the Grand Prix Special.
Recently seventh in the World Cup Final with Sir Donnerhall II Old, Morgane Barbançon Mestre will be heading an ambitious French team. France will also be able to count on Isabelle Pinto (La Gesse Hot Chocolate VD Kwaplas) and Pauline Basquin (Sectorius de Rima Z*IFCE).
In the team competition, for this second stage of the prestigious FEI Nations Cup circuit, Sweden will be trying hard to retain the title won last year, by adding alongside Patrik Kittel, the two Ramel sisters, Juliette, 16th in the World with Buriel, and Antonia, who will be riding Curiosity.
Charlotte Dujardin, star attraction of the CDI 3*
In the CDI 3*, many eyes will be on the British rider Charlotte Dujardin, World n°3 (with Gio). Olympic Champion, World Champion and Freestyle World Record Holder with the fabulous Valegro (94.300%), she will be starting Imhopet, a 9 year old gelding, in international competition. Several home nation riders will also be in the starting blocks for the three star event with notably Maxime Collard and her Tokyo Olympic ride Cupido PB, but also Arnaud Serre, Camille Judet-Chéret, Virginie Gauthier, Charlotte Chalvignac, Bernard Bosseaux, Antoine Nowakowski, and Corentin Pottier with his promising son of the great Totilas, Gotilas du Feuillard.
Big entries in the classes for the younger generations
The classes for young riders, juniors and U25, will also be particularly interesting to follow with, once again, line-ups containing some excellent horse/rider combinations. In U25s, there should be fierce competition between Portugal’s Francisco Vila Nova (n°3 in its category) and Belgium’s Suraya Hendriks. In the Young Riders category, Spain’s Sergio Moron Basoco (n°6) will have to look out for France’s Mado Pinto, n°14, who has been in great form lately with Hot Bit de la Gesse.
In the Juniors, France’s Mathilde Juglaret (n°3) could be at the top of the leader board with Caporal de Massa.
In the Pony category, won last year by Germany and its’ revelation, Julie Sofie Schmitz-Heinen (she is today n°2 in the international rankings), the field will also be strong. Belgium’s Liezel Everars with FS Capelli de Niro (n°4), will undoubtedly be expected to perform well. France will be able to count on a good team led by Blanche Carre Pistolet on Dazzling Kid d’Herbord, the best placed in the international hierarchy, in 27th position.
A grand finale by Jean-François Pignon
On Sunday the 22nd of May, once classes have drawn to a close, the public at the Grand Parc Equestrian Stadium will have the pleasure and even the privilege of watching a display by Jean-François Pignon, whose performances with horses in liberty have won over audiences around the World. The occasion to inaugurate the magnificent equestrian stadium and give a stylish finish to an undoubtedly memorable weekend.