Mar 08, 2022
Jessica von Bredow-Werndl has skyrocketed to the dressage world and is now in everyone’s eyes. Not only did she win the Team and Individual Gold Medal at the 2020 Tokyo Olympics, but the dressage rider also earned the triple hat-trick at the European Championships, becoming world number 1.
To celebrate Women’s Day, we want to highlight her achievements and most impressive dressage competition performances in the reins.
“It’s hard to believe, but I had my first riding lesson when I was four. My brother Benjamin was six at the time and that really made me want to ride. We must have caught a very serious case of horse fever because to this day we would still rather be in the stables than anywhere else.”
Born in 1986, Jessica von Bredow-Werndl was given her first horse and began horse riding when she was only 7. Little Girl was a Lewitzer pony, and interested young Jessica far more than Barbies. From 1995 to 2007, Stephan Münch helped her on the way from E level to Grand Prix. During those years, she learnt rich dressage lessons, and has always been excited for more.
“With Nino, I started to discover the world of Dressage. He lived up to his name. In 1998 and 1999 we qualified for the finals at the German “Bundeschampionat” in Warendorf. That was the first time I felt what it meant to ride in a big championship, and it made me want more.”
Von Bredow-Werndl started riding bigger horses when she was 15, and was so nervous about the European Championships that she rode the wrong way twice. Despite finishing then in last place, this did not discourage her from giving up, but instead, reinforced her mental training, breathing and concentration practice.
A year later, her efforts were rewarded, as she went to the Europeans. In 2005 Bonito and Duchess helped her win six gold and two silver medals at the European Championships. Also, they won three German national titles. With Duchess, she worked her way to Grand Prix level, and so was his brother with Duke and Sam.
“It was our goal to establish ourselves at the Grand Prix level with young horses that we had trained ourselves… a very long journey. We were very lucky that Isabell Werth worked with us for five years and gave us essential tips along the way. Isabell, the most successful dressage rider ever.”
In 2014, Von Bredow-Werndl qualified for the Dressage World Cup Final in Lyon, where she finished in seventh place. However, at the following World Cup finals in 2015 in Las Vegas, she finished third, getting a podium score above 80%. The following year, she was able to defend her spot in the podium.
In 2015, she was selected as part of the German team. By the time she started competing in big events with dressage horse TSF Dalera BB, horse and rider won the gold medal at the World Equestrian Games 2018. Then, the 2019 Team European Championships and ended in third place in that same year’s individual freestyle with an impressive score of 89.107%.
2021 has been her best year so far, after victories in the Tokyo Olympic Games and European Championships. Competing with Dalera, she has achieved her personal best score at the Olympic Individual Grand Prix Freestyle: 91.732%.
“The most amazing part of it all, is that I am able to do, everyday, what I love the most: to live with horses, to learn from them and to have fun.”
On HorseTV we celebrate Women’s Day as well as all achievements of women in equestrianism and want to raise awareness to them. Given the gender equality of equestrian sports, this community is pushing forwards towards inclusion of female athletes and show by example on how we all can live and have fun with horses.
Videos from FEI, image from Jessica Aubenhausen's website