The year has been marked by COVID and EHV-1, but also by a long list of equestrian moments in the international scene. On HorseTV we have selected highlights from some of them in order to look back at the top equestrian moments of 2021.
Despite all odds that The Dutch Masters would not take place due to the EHV-1 pandemic that struck Europe, organizers postponed the event almost two months to see top international equestrian sport.
The result: a highly successful equestrian event that marked the beginning of this year’s Rolex Showjumping Grand Slam. Max Kühner became the first winner of the Rolex Grand Prix with Elektric Blue P.
There was great anticipation for the Olympic Games in Tokyo as they had to be delayed one year due to the pandemic and there were different opinions on whether they could be celebrated or not.
In the dressage competition, Germany delivered an outstanding performance both in team and individual, earning gold in both. In the team competition, Germany won 9 out of 10 stagings, becoming the supreme champion in dressage. In individual, victory went to Jessica von Bredow-Werndl who was just getting started to an incredible year.
In eventing, the first ever female eventing gold went to Julia Krajewski, who outperformed Tom McEwen and Andrew Hoy. However as a team, Great Britain achieved victory after 49 years without winning the gold medal.
In show jumping, Ben Maher delighted during the Tokyo 2020 Olympics with Explosion W when earning first place. Following closely in second place, Peder Fredricson became team gold medallist together with Henrik von Eckermann and Malin Baryard-Johansson. This would also mark a great year for the Swedish rider.
Para dressage rider Philippa Johnson-Dwyer battled cancer and underwent an open heart surgery, but still decided to represent South Africa for the fifth time in the Para equestrian events.
This year’s edition was marked by the Paralympic spirit of surpassing limits, and Philippa’s story has inspired riders all over the world. Likewise, Louise Etzner Jakobsson went from a broken leg to winning the silver medal in Tokyo.
Even if most memorable moments of the Olympics were positive, there were also negative memorable moments during the Games. Controversy following incidents during the show jumping phase of the Modern Pentathlon moved the entire equestrian community, which demanded changes in the format of the competition.
After the verdict in which Kim Raisner, Germany’s Olympic coach, received disciplinary action, the organizing body of Modern Pentathlon started debating whether they should keep equestrianism in the format or not. At the end, it was decided show jumping will be substituted for cycling starting in the Los Angeles 2028 Olympic Games.
After her incident, Ingrid Klimke returned to the equestrian facilities at Avenches eager to become the European Champion, however this time Great Britain dominated the podium, both in the individual and team competitions with Nicola Wilson’s victory.
German dressage rider Jessica von Bredow-Werndl proved to be unbeatable during the FEI Dressage European Championships 2021, where she earned a hat-trick and won three gold medals in a week.
The rider has become world’s number one and now has her eyes set on the FEI World Equestrian Games, where Isabell Werth and Cathrine Dufour intend to close the gap with the triple champion.
Moreover, recently Charlotte Dujardin has separated from her Olympic partner, Gio, who is now being taken care of by Annabella Pidgley. They were seen nonetheless during a final performance in the London International Horse Show, where the pair won gold.