Jessica von Bredow-Werndl and Five Other Athletes Earn Coveted Spots for Individual Final Following Day 1 of Tokyo 2020

Tokyo, Japan – July 24, 2021 – It was a historic start to the Tokyo 2020 Olympic Games following the year-long postponement due to the COVID-19 outbreak. A total of 47 hopeful international dressage athletes finally had their shot at the podium as Tokyo 2020 kicked off Saturday, July 24, at Baji Koen [the equestrian park] in Setagaya City, Tokyo. Day 1 of the Grand Prix, the first of four days of competition toward team and individual medals, saw Netherlands lead the way following solid performances from team members Edward Gal and Hans Peter Minderhoud. Germany’s Jessica von Bredow-Werndl and TSF Dalera led the individual standings heading into the second day of Grand Prix competition, set to kick-off Sunday.

Jessica von Bredow-Werndl and TSF Dalera

Competing under a new format, teams consisted of only three athletes and their mounts, no longer relying on a drop score from a fourth teammate. All individual and team competitors were broken into six different groups or ‘heats’, organized following Friday’s health inspection and based on each athlete’s FEI World Ranking. The first half of the groups battled for top scores during Saturday’s Grand Prix in the hopes of earning their respective country a spot in the top eight in order to advance to the Grand Prix Special Tuesday, July 27. Only the top two scoring combinations in each heat, followed by the next highest six scores from each heat, will advance to the individual Grand Prix Freestyle competition Wednesday, July 28. A total of 18 riders will qualify to compete for individual medals with six guaranteed a coveted slot in Saturday’s performance.

Brazil’s Joao Victor Marcari Olivia and Escorial (by Spartacus x Edo RHE) were the opening act to an exciting evening of competition, scoring a 70.419% to set the stage for the 28 pairs to follow. Despite a rather short neck throughout their test, 25-year-old Charlotte Fry representing Great Britain with the 12-year-old KWPN stallion Everdale owned by Fry and Van Olst Horses, emerged as the leader of Group A, scoring 77.096% to qualify the pair for the individual Grand Prix Freestyle competition Wednesday. Therese Nilshagen of Sweden and her seasoned international partner Dante Weltino OLD, owned by Dressurpferde Leistungsz and T. Nilshagen, also made their way to the individual qualifying list, finishing behind Fry with a score of 75.140%.

Therese Nilshagen and Dante Weltino OLD

Showcasing just how unpredictable the new team format can possibly be with only three athletes, one of the pair’s in Group B, Austria’s Victoria Max-Theurer and Abegglen NRW (Ampere x Carabas), were forced to withdraw after Abegglen NRW suffered a tooth abscess. None of Austria’s qualified reserve pairs traveled to Tokyo, leaving the country out of contention for the Grand Prix Special and team medals. The Netherlands’ Gal kicked off Group B aboard Total US, a 10-year-old Hannoverian stallion owned by Glock HPC NL B.V., scoring a 78.634%, ultimately nabbing the duo a spot in the top two to qualify for individual competition. Taking the lead at the conclusion of the heat was Denmark’s Cathrine Dufour and Abildgaard Equestrian APS’ Bohemian (by Bordeaux x Samarant) following a harmonious and effortless-looking test that earned a score of 81.056%.

Cathrine Dufour and Bohemian

Saving the best for last and concluding the first day of dressage competition on a high note, Germany’s Jessica von Bredow-Werndl and TSF Dalera, owned by Beatrice A. Buerchler-Keller and Max von Bredow, took over the leading spot for Group C. Ranked FEI World No. 2 athlete, Bredow-Werndl and the 14-year-old Trakhener mare took home the highest score of the evening at 84.379%, earning them a slot in individual Grand Prix Freestyle competition. Joining her Wednesday will be Saturday’s second place horse-and-athlete combination in Group C, the United States’ Sabine Schut-Kery and Alice Womble’s Sanceo for their Olympic-debut score of 78.416%.

Sabine Schut-Kery and Sanceo

As the athletes who didn’t compete on Saturday prepare for the second half of Grand Prix competition, it is the Netherlands that currently leads the way on a score of 5006.0 following impressive performances from Gal and Minderhoud. The team rankings will ultimately have quite the shake up tomorrow as multiple countries, including the United States and Germany, only had one athlete perform tonight. With plenty more action to see Sunday, the gold medal could be any country’s for the taking.

Jessica von Bredow-Werndl and TSF Dalera

Grand Prix competition will continue at the Tokyo 2020 Olympic Games Sunday, July 25, as the second half of competitors vie for valuable scores toward the top eight qualifying countries for the Grand Prix Special competition. Team Medals will be awarded Tuesday, July 27, following the Grand Prix Special, while qualified individual athletes will have a final shot at a medal finish Wednesday, July 28, as they take to Grand Prix Freestyle competition.

PS Dressage coverage is brought to you by Taylor Harris Insurance Services (THIS). For over 30 years Taylor, Harris Insurance Services has been serving equestrians across the United States. All our agents are dedicated horse people and we take pride in finding the right solution for every horse. To learn more visit and join us on Instagram and Facebook.

C – Jury President – Francis Verbeek (NED)
K – Jury Member – Susan Hoevenaars (AUS)
E – Jury Member – Katrina Wuest (GER)
H – Jury Member – Janet Foy (USA)
M – Jury Member – Andrew Gardner (GBR)
B – Jury Member – Hans-christian Matthiesen (DEN)
F – Jury Member – Magnus Ringmark (SWE)


Jessica von Bredow-Werndl – Germany

On recording the highest score of the evening:
“I saw a lot of power, a lot of energy, a lot of focusing. She [TSF Dalera] was very focused. When she is that on, I have to control my body to 100% because otherwise I can bring her out of balance. So it’s very important. And there was a little second where I did a little bit too much sitting, and then she came back. But luckily she responded immediately, so everything was fine.”

On her Olympic expectations:
“I have thought about this pressure for several months, weeks and days. But I came to the conclusion that I can’t do anything else but give my best. And I’m always giving my best. And I wasn’t more nervous than at the German championships because I also wanted to be super, super, super good there. So I think it was about the same level of nervousness. But Dalera, there’s no difference. She doesn’t know that we are at the Olympics or at the German championships. So I tried to do the same.”

On the unique competition environment:
“There is no crowd, but there’s still excitement in there, because the atmosphere is different compared to the last days where we trained there. [TSF Dalera] is a horse who always tries her heart out for me, and she’s incredible.”

Sabine Schut-Kery – United States

On Sanceo:
“It might sound cheesy but he is always so with me. It really feels like a partnership. You go in and he gives you the feeling of, ‘I’ve got it,’ and he likes going into that venue. He definitely puffed up a little bit.”

On the test:
“The highlight to me, it always feels amazing, is the piaffe passage.”

On her Olympic expectations:
“At first, the most important thing was for me to make it here. I thought that was a huge deal riding back in June and making sure I got my spot. Then coming here, I think when you come as a team you don’t ride for yourself anymore. So for me it was really important that I ride for my teammates and I ride for my country, and that means for all of you- for Chrstine [Traurig], for Debbie [McDonald], for my teammates, for the [United States Equestrian] Federation, and also for friends and fans.” 

Sabine Schut-Kery and Sanceo

On starting Sanceo herself:
“It’s super super special. Getting him with Alice [Womble-Heitmann] and [Dr. Mike Heitmann], looking at him in Germany he was just ridden 10 times under saddle and thinking back I never would have never thought this is where we would end up. When you train a horse it’s not like he has been hidden somewhere for six years and then is brought out at a grand prix. What’s so special is that he did qualify as a five year old and a six year old, went to [Festival of Champions], the Pan American Games, all these things. So at each level, we were able to ride a championship and to finish at the Olympics is unreal. It’s just so special. And it’s not only from the partnership but now at this level, I take pride in managing him and keeping him healthy through all these years. So that is a huge part I learned later on, that that’s also important. I take a little bit of pride in that as well.”


1. Netherlands: 5006.0
Rider / Horse / Score
Total US / Edward Gal / 2532.5
Dream Boy / Hans Peter Minderhoud / 2473.5
Go Legend / Marlies van Baalen / TBD

2. Denmark: 4966.0
Rider / Horse / Score
Zack / Nanna Skodborg Merrald / 2356.0
Bohemian / Cathrine Dufour / 2610.0
Heiline’s Danciera / Carina Cassoe Kruth / TBD

3. Great Britain: 4901.5
Rider / Horse / Score
Everdale / Charlotte Fry / 2482.5
En Vogue / Carl Hester / 2419.0
Gio / Charlotte Dujardin / TBD

4. Sweden: 4626.5
Rider / Horse / Score
Dante Weltino OLD / Therese Nilshagen / 2419.5
Brother De Jeu / Antonia Ramel / 2207.0
Buriel K.H. / Ramel Juliette / TBD

5. Portugal: 4602.5
Rider / Horse / Score
Fenix De Tineo / Maria Caetano / 2264.0
Fogoso / Rodrigo Torres / 2338.5
Equador / Joao Miguel Torrao / TBD

6. Spain: 4548.0
Rider / Horse / Score
Elegance / Beatriz Ferrer-Salat / 2321.5
Sorento 15 / Jose Antonio Garcia Mena / 2226.5
Fendi T / Severo Jurado Lopez / TBD

7. ROC: 4294.0
Rider / Horse / Score
Mister X / Inessa Merkulova / 2236.5
Bojengels / Aleksandra Maksakova / 2057.5
Diavolessa VA /Tatyana Kosterina / TBD

8. Germany: 2717.0
Rider / Horse / Score
TSF Dalera / Jessica von Bredow-Werndl / 2717.0
Showtime FRH / Schneider Dorothee / TBD
Bella Rose 2 / Isabell Werth / TBD


Place / Horse / Rider / Country / Owner / Score
* = Qualified for individual competition

1. *TSF Dalera / Jessica von Bredow-Werndl / GER / Beatrice A. Buerchler-Keller, Max von Bredow / 84.379
2. *Bohemian / Cathrine Dufour / DEN / Abildgaard Equestrian APS / 81.056
3. *Total US / Edward Gal / NED / Glock HPC NL B.V. / 78.634
4. *Sanceo / Sabine Schut-Kery / USA / Alice Womble / 78.416
5. *Everdale / Charlotte Fry / GBR / Charlotte Fry, Van Olst Horses / 77.096
6. Dream Boy / Hans Peter Minderhoud / NED / Glock HPC NL B.V., Palmar BV – J.T.M. Maree, Stal Brinkman V.O.F., TC Dutch Sport Horses – T.J.M. Coomans / 76.817
7. *Dante Weltino OLD / Therese Nilshagen / SWE / Dressurpferde Leistungsz, T. Nilshagen / 75.140
8. En Vogue / Carl Hester / GBR / Charlotte Dujardin, Lady Anne Evans, Sandra Biddlecombe, Carl Hester / 75.124
9. Zack / Nanna Skodborg Merrald / DEN / Blue Hors ApS / 73.168
10. Fogoso / Rodrigo Torres / POR / Rodrigo Torres / 72.624
11. Elegance / Beatriz Ferrer-Salat / ESP / Deliber S.L. / 72.096
12. Aquamarijn / Yvonne Losos de Muniz / DOM / Yvonne Losos De Muniz, Sylvia Ines Muniz Losos / 70.869
13. Escorial / João Victor Olivia Marcari / BRA / JRME-Horse Campline LDA / 70.419
14. Fenix De Tineo / Maria Caetano / POR / Yeguada Finca Tineo, LDA / 70.311
15. Mister X / Inessa Merkulova / ROC / Anatoly Merkulov, Victoria Merkulova / 69.457
16. Sorento 15 / Jose Antonio Garcia Mena / ESP / Catalina Mena Carrasco / 69.146
17. Zo What / Alexandre Ayache / FRA / Alexandre Ayache, Abdulkarim Barake / 68.929
18. Brother De Jeu / Antonia Ramel / SWE / La Pomme HB / 68.540
19. Eclips / Chris von Martels / CAN / Barbara Soederhuizen, Chris von Martels / 68.059
20. Calanta / Mary Hanna / AUS / Mary & Rob Hannah / 67.981
21. Flambeau / Larissa Pauluis / BEL / Jean Pauluis, Marie Christine Pauluis / 67.251
22. Wispering Romance / Francesco Zaza / ITA / Raimondo Bozzetti, Marco Montosi / 66.941
23. Kontestro DB / Henri Ruoste / FIN / Conquestrean JEA, Equeco GmbH, Henri Ruoste / 66.674
24. Fleraro / Inna Logutenkova / UKR / LLC Vian Group / 66.118
25. Donna Anna / Dina Ellermann / EST / Dina Ellermann, Ltd. Ellermann / 65.435
26. Bojengels / Aleksandra Maksakova / ROC / Aleksandra Maksakova, Johannes Rueben, Egor Shchibrik / 63.898
27. Belstaff / Dong Seon Kim / KOR / Dong Seon Kim / 63.447
28. Ludwig Der Sonnenkoenig 2 / Kazuki Sado / JPN / Helgstrand Dressage A/S, Japan Racing Association / 62.531
29. Abegglen NRW / Victoria Max-Theurer / AUT / Elisabeth Max-theurer, Gestüt Vorwerk, Stefan Lehfellner / WD

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