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Best of British: trio on top of the horse world

British riders have broken all-time records, occupying the world number one slots in all three Olympic equestrian disciplines. From left, Charlotte Dujardin and Valegro, Scott Brash and Ursula XII, and William Fox-Pitt on Lionheart.

British riders have broken all-time records, occupying the world number one slots in all three Olympic equestrian disciplines. From left, Charlotte Dujardin and Valegro, Scott Brash and Ursula XII, and William Fox-Pitt on his London 2012 horse Lionheart. © FEI/Arnd Bronkhorst and Jacques Toffi

The golden run that started for Britain at the 2012 Olympic Games has continued, with the country’s riders currently in the world number one positions in all three Olympic disciplines.

It is the first time that athletes from one nation have simultaneously topped the FEI World Rankings in Jumping, Dressage, and Eventing.

In the latest rankings published by the FEI, Scott Brash heads the Longines Rankings in Jumping, Charlotte Dujardin heads the FEI World Individual Dressage Rankings, and William Fox-Pitt tops the FEI World Eventing Athlete Rankings.

“To be the first country whose athletes have simultaneously been world number one in the three Olympic disciplines since the FEI Rankings began in 2002 is a truly outstanding achievement,” FEI Secretary General Ingmar De Vos said.

“Congratulations to Scott Brash, Charlotte Dujardin, and William Fox-Pitt for their remarkable performances, and also to their trainers, owners, grooms, support crews, veterinarians, the British Equestrian Federation, and the British Olympic Association. And, of course, I would like to pay a very special tribute to the talented horses that are an integral part of the success story in British equestrian sport.”

Third placegetter Scott Brash and Ursula.

Scott Brash and Ursula. © PSV J.Morel

Scott Brash, the youngest member of Britain’s London 2012 Olympic Games gold medal team, jumped into the world number one spot in the Longines Rankings in December 2013 and has held the position ever since. With 3,266 points, the 28-year-old from Peebles in Scotland is ahead of fellow countryman Ben Maher (2,830 points), and Germany’s Ludger Beerbaum (2,799). Beerbaum and Brash claimed second and third places behind Daniel Deusser (GER) in last month’s Longines FEI World Cup Jumping Final in Lyon (FRA).

Charlotte Dujardin and Valegro.

Charlotte Dujardin and Valegro. © Anniek van Schaik / www.focussed.nl

Charlotte Dujardin, also 28, and the 12-year old bay gelding Valegro became the first British partnership to head the FEI World Dressage Rankings in September 2012 following their double Olympic gold at the London Olympic Games. The combination reclaimed world number one status last September and have now been in pole position since the beginning of the year. Dujardin and Valegro, winners of the Reem Acra FEI World Cup Dressage Final in Lyon, are also the FEI Grand Prix, Grand Prix Special, and Grand Prix Freestyle record holders.

Dujardin and Valegro lead the FEI Dressage Rankings with 3,138 points ahead of Germany’s Helen Langehanenberg and Damon Hill NRW (2,917 points), and Edward Gal (NED) and Glock’s Undercover (2,702 points).

William Fox-Pitt and Lionheart at the 2012 Olympic Games in London.

William Fox-Pitt and Lionheart at the 2012 Olympic Games in London. © Jacques Toffi/Arnd Bronkhorst/FEI

William Fox-Pitt, multiple Olympic, World and European medalist, and the first British rider to top the FEI World Eventing Rankings in 2002, took over as world number one at the beginning of the month. Triple Olympic team medallist Fox-Pitt, 44, who this week bids for a Badminton victory to add to last month’s win in Kentucky, has a 16-point advantage over Andrew Nicholson (NZL), with Bruce O. Davidson Jr. (USA) third in the world rankings.

“This is another historic first for equestrian sport in Great Britain and is wonderful proof of the skill of our riders, the dedication of the owners and staff, as well as the support provided by the Lottery-funded World Class Programme,” British World Class Performance Manager Will Connell said.

“Of course ranking lists are a record of what has already happened, but now all of us are focused on the competitions ahead and especially on the Alltech FEI World Equestrian Games 2014 in Normandy.”

Horsetalk.co.nz

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  1. hevyn says:

    Amazing article!!!!!!!!!!

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