Von Bredow-Werndl Not Defending Title at 2024 World Cup Finals - Netz and De Winne Are In

Fri, 03/15/2024 - 19:39
Raphael Netz and Great Escape Camelot at the 2023 CDI Hagen :: Photo © Astrid Appels

As already announced at the 2023 European Championships in Riesenbeck, reigning Olympic champion Jessica von Bredow-Werndl will not be defending her title at the 2024 World Cup Finals in Riyadh.

In the absence of the title defender, the Western European league group that will make it to Riyadh has undergone a few changes and two riders that seemed to have missed a spot initially are in.

Title Defender

Jessica von Bredow-Werndl and Beatrice Burchler-Keller's 17-year old Trakehner mare Dalera BB (by Easy Game x Handryk) won the World Cup Finals in Leipzig in 2022 and in Omaha in 2023. 

After winning the 2023 European Championships for the second, consecutive time, Werndl announced that she will not be putting Dalera on a plane again for a long trip, as she did for 2023 World Cup in the U.S.A, especially in a very important Olympic year.

As title defender, Werndl had to show in two World Cup qualifiers to be eligible to compete in the Finals, but as she never intended to fly to Riyadh, she only rode and won the qualifier in Basel in January 2024. She did not fulfil the conditions to make it to Riyadh anyway.

”She‘s flown enough for me,” Werndl told Eurodressage. “Next stop is probably Munich.”

Two Spots Opened

In the absence of a title defender, a spot opened up in the Western European League and this has been filled by the 7th ranked pair, German Raphael Netz, who is a student of Werndl. Netz and Sonja Krall's 13-year old KWPN gelding Great Escape Camelot (by Johnson x Turbo Magic) successfully competed at five qualifiers this winter season: Bialy Las, Herning, Stuttgart, Mechelen and Neumunster. 

Flore de Winne at the 2023 CDI-W Mechelen
(Photo © Dirk Caremans)
Germany will be represented at the Finals by the maximum amount of riders, three, as he'll be joined by the number one on the WEL World Cup ranking, Isabell Werth (with Emilio) and the fourth placed rider, Matthias Rath (on Destacado). 

The Belgian equestrian federation also confirmed that the 10th placed rider, Flore de Winne, has been given a spot to the World Cup Finals. De Winne and her Hanoverian stallion Flynn FRH (by Fahrenheit x Sir Oldenburg) tied with Diana Porsche (AUT), but De Winne was selected. Ties in overall point totals at the end of the qualifying season are broken by the highest CDI-W Grand Prix Freestyle to Music score earned by the tied athletes. De Winne got 80.330% at the CDI-W Mechelen while Porsche's Kur high score is 75.820% at the CDI-W Basel.

It is unclear which Top 8 WEL ranked rider has declined his/her spot, that ended up being allocated to De Winne. Both Charlotte Fry (Everdale) and Emmelie Scholtens (Indian Rock) have expressed indecisiveness over a start in Riyadh. In 2023 Swedish Patrik Kittel also declined to fly his horse to Omaha for the Finals, but this year he confirmed to Eurodressage he’s taking Touchdown. The stakes might be different this year with the biggest purse in World Cup history for the taking in Saudi Arabia. 

Scholtens Out

A day after publication of this article, Emmelie Scholtens announced that she was the one who is not going (and for whom De Winne is substituting). "In consultation with the National Coach we decided not to go," she wrote on Facebook after not responding to Eurodressage's inquiry. "Indian Rock was in a really good shape last competitions and we are gonna make a plan for the upcoming season. The WC Final is too soon and we don't want to much for him."

Photos © Astrid Appels - Dirk Caremans

Related Links
Eurodressage Coverage of the 2024 World Cup Finals
Von Bredow-Werndl and Dalera Deliver Another Victory at 2024 CDI-W Basel
Fry and Everdale Win 2023 CDI-W Mechelen, Historic 80% for Belgian Pair