Alive And Kicking steps up to the mark in Freestyle debut

Charlotte Dujardin's rising star impressed in today's Horse & Country CDI3* Grand Prix Freestyle to Music

MBP 9355 420 Charlotte Dujardin Alive And Kicking

Charlotte Dujardin’s rising star Alive And Kicking was impressive on her Grand Prix Freestyle international debut, scoring 82.350% to take the win in emphatic fashion on the penultimate day of the I.C.E. Horseboxes All England Dressage Festival.

The 10-year-old mare had only made two international appearances before this week’s CDI at Hickstead, winning both the Grand Prix and Special in Lier in March and in Hagen in April. After finishing runner-up to Charlotte’s top horse Imhotep in yesterday’s Grand Prix, Alive And Kicking (known as Audrey) returned to her winning ways in the Horse & Country CDI3* Grand Prix Freestyle to Music, with a confident routine that belied her relative lack of experience.

“That was the first time I've ever ridden it [the freestyle routine], and I think she's only ever done one other Freestyle, which was at Prix St Georges, so Audrey had a big ask tonight and I feel she did a very good job,” said Charlotte, who rode to a soundtrack based on music from the film Frozen.

In runner-up spot was Singapore's Caroline Chew on Blue Hors Zatchmo (74.940%), with Britain's Andrew Gould in third with Genie. 

Having lost out in Friday’s CDI Grand Prix to his protegee Charlotte Dujardin, Carl Hester was back on top in the LeMieux Premier League Grand Prix. Riding the 15-year-old En Vogue, Carl scored 75.304% to retain the title they won here 12 months ago.

Asked how En Vogue compares to Carl’s other Grand Prix ride Fame, he said: “They’re actually quite similar personalities and temperament, they are both a little bit quirky and can quickly change from very relaxed to very hot. But they’re beautiful horses to ride, and when they go well I feel like I am probably doing some of the best dressage I’ve ever done, they just suit my personality.”

Carl and Charlotte’s London 2012 Olympic teammate Laura Tomlinson enjoyed her competitive highlight of the year so far, winning the Fairfax Saddles Premier League FEI Prix St Georges with Full Moon II. She also came third with second ride Forest Hill, with Sarah Millis and Le Zorro taking the runner-up spot.

“I was first to go with that horse at 8 o'clock this morning, so it's been a long day waiting to see how the results panned out,” said Laura. “I was really pleased with him, he felt settled in the arena, switched on, and just a lovely ride. I'm in the Intermediate I tomorrow. So hopefully we can carry forwards with a little bit of confidence.”

Laura’s stable jockey Lara Butler was also top of the podium today, with her victory coming in the Saracen Horse Feeds Premier League Intermediate I. Riding the 14-year-old Amiek C, the pair scored 75.343% to finish more than two percent clear of Michael Eilberg and MSJ Encore in second. “The temperature was getting very warm today, but he coped very well with the heat and with the atmosphere,” said Lara of the bay gelding by Ampere.

This morning also saw some young talents in the sport compete in the CDI 1* classes. Myles Graham enjoyed a one-two in the I.C.E Horseboxes CDI Junior Riders Team test, winning with Nibeley Union Hit (72.000%) and finishing second with Nibeley Black Pearl (70.363%). The Young Riders' title went to India Durman-Mills and Escade, with a score of 70.588%, while Sofia Games and Steendieks Cadillac took the CDI Ponies test with 69.857%. In the Children on Horses, Ella-Grace Dovey finished top of the leaderboard with a score of 75.450% on her 11-year-old gelding, Sheepcote Jackson.

Annabella Pidgeley secured her second win of the show, taking top spot in the I.C.E Horseboxes CDI U25 Intermediate II with Vamos Amigos. "He gave me one of the best feelings he has ever given, especially through our piaffe and passage tour," she said. 

For full results click here.

The I.C.E. Horseboxes All England Dressage Festival takes place at Hickstead (7-12 May) with free admission and parking for spectators. Watch the livestream on Horse & Country TV. Sign up to our newsletter here.



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