Since the FEI’s successful #TwoHearts campaign which was launched prior to the Rio 2016 Olympic and Paralympic Games, the concept of horse and rider as a single athletic entity has captivated and inspired competitors and fans especially in the world of Dressage.
Few have captured the #TwoHearts symbolism as perfectly as the partnership of Charlotte Dujardin and Valegro, who have dominated the sport in recent years. Together, they've demonstrated that freedom of movement, self-carriage and harmony are all achievable through training and sympathetic horsemanship. Having raised the bar to a whole new level after securing back-to-back Olympic titles in Rio, they will retire in December.
So who with that special partnership is going to step into those dancing horse shoes, by the time the FEI World Cup™ Dressage Final takes place in Omaha, Nebraska (USA) next March?
This means for the first leg of the FEI World Cup™ Dressage Western European League 2016/2017 there is great anticipation as it starts at Odense Horse Show in Denmark this weekend.
Spanish sensations Severo Jurado Lopez and Lorenzo, who finished fifth in the Freestyle Final at the 2016 Olympic Games should take the crowds by storm in Denmark. Equally Denmark’s Anna Kasprzak and Donnperignon, winners of their home leg of the FEI World Cup™ Dressage series back in 2013, and topped the Grand Prix at Odense 12 months ago, only to be beaten in the Freestyle by Edward Gal and Glock’s Voice, also are looking to perform well in the first leg.
Throughout the nine qualifiers in the Western European League, with Lyon (FRA) taking place less than a week after the opener in Odense, and Stuttgart (GER) playing host in November, there will be many top names fighting for the top position with their dancing horses.