We have our first world cup winners: Charlotte Fry and Everdale (by Lord Leatherdale and Negro) win the FEI Dressage World Cup victory at Jumping Mechelen 2023.
Copyright: Dirk Caremans – Hippofoto
It wasn’t a big surprise as the British duo already set a magnificent “personal best” in the Grand Prix yesterday. Today, their performance in the Freestyle earned them a total score of 84.675%, securing the first place. Charlotte said, “What Everdale has done here is the best I’ve ever seen from him. It’s so amazing to win here. Even in the Grand Prix, there were so many spectators. That’s not something you find everywhere. And what about that prize-giving ceremony tonight? It was just insane. I thought the roof would come off.”
Personal best for Marlies van Baalen
In second place came Marlies van Baalen from the Netherlands, riding Habibi DVB. Together with the 11-year-old son of Blue Hors Don Schufro and Johnson TN, Marlies achieved a total score of 82.425%. Marlies said, “The audience was fantastic. It was completely packed here. What an atmosphere. It was a fantastic performance for both me and Habibi. After the European Championships, he had a little break. We only just picked up the pace again in Kronenberg, , which was a perfect warm-up for this competition. Today, we rode a personal best in the Freestyle. That’s always fantastic.”
Ecstatic audience for Flore De Winne
The third place went to Belgian rider Flore De Winne, who completed her debut at Jumping Mechelen with Flynn FRH (by Tannenhof’s Fahrenheit x Sir Oldenburg) with a total score of 80.200%. This performance sent the audience into a frenzy. Absolute silence and tense faces during the test, followed by exuberant cheers after the final step: It’s clear that Belgian dressage fans have found a new favorite in Flore. It had been since 2017 that a Belgian rider achieved such a beautiful result at this event. Flore said, “It’s incredible. No one could have ever imagined this. What I’m experiencing now is every girl’s dream, including mine. Flynn and I are both relatively inexperienced. I hope to reach the level of Charlotte one day, or even surpass it.
. It was Flore’s first time competing at Jumping Mechelen, and it made a big impression. Flore said, “Incredible! You enter the arena, and there are so many people there. London was already huge. But this was even more impressive. You trot through that dark tunnel into the arena, and every hair on your body stands on end. I was afraid this might unsettle Flynn a bit. In London, he was a bit surprised. But now, he just loved it and shone brightly. It was incredible to ride here. I can’t wait to do it again.”
Impressive performance by Charlotte Defalque
Belgian rider Charlotte Defalque (riding Botticelli) also deserves an honorable mention for finishing in a respectable sixth place. Charlotte said, “Yes, I’m super satisfied. This was our second time at Mechelen. We also achieved our best score ever here. What a result to end the year.”
Proud chef d’équipe
Belgian chef d’équipe Jeroen Van Lent expressed his pride during the press conference after the competition. Jeroen said, “We’re sitting at this table with two young Belgians who delivered a stunning performance. They show that our country is truly growing in dressage, and we can expect great moments in the future.”