Who’s Annabella Pidgley? Discover out extra about Gio’s new rider

  • Annabella Pidgley will take over the experience on Charlotte Dujardin’s Olympic and European Championship medallist Gio, following the sale of the 10-year-old Apache gelding to the Pidgley household. So, who’s Annabella Pidgley, and what can we count on of this thrilling new British partnership?

    Annabella Pidgley is a 16-year-old British dressage rider, who has competed extensively for Britain in pony and junior ranks. She is the daughter of the late Tony Pidgley, co-founder of the Berkeley Group and main equestrian supporter and benefactor, who died unexpectedly in 2020 aged 72.

    Annabella made her worldwide debut in 2017, aged 12, using Farbenfroh, and the mixture scored a hat-trick of wins at Hickstead CDI that yr.

    She went on to take pleasure in a massively profitable pony profession, partnering the German-bred chestnut mare Ine and palomino gelding Cognac IX. Annabella and Ine have been members of the British crew on the 2018 pony Europeans at Bishop Burton, ending thirteenth individually and fourth as a crew. A yr later, she competed Cognac on the pony Europeans in Strzegom, Poland, ending eleventh individually and fourth as a crew yet one more. In 2020, Annabella took the chance to compete on the re-scheduled pony Europeans at Pilisjaszfalu, Hungary, as a person on a self-funded foundation, after British Dressage introduced it might not be fielding a crew. There, she and Cognac achieved a top-30 particular person end.

    In 2020, alongside ponies, Annabella additionally stepped as much as junior competitors with the Belissimo stallion Belafonte, beforehand owned and campaigned to nice success in youth ranks by Ellie McCarthy. Annabella and Belafonte competed for Britain each at house and overseas, with quite a few high three placings in 2020.

    Early in 2021, it was introduced that the Pidgleys had bought the 11-year-old gelding Sultan Des Paluds, a son of Soliman De Hus, to be Annabella’s experience for her first full yr in junior ranks. The French-bred gelding had been a reserve champion on the World Younger Horse Championships in 2017, underneath Kirsten Brouwer, and had been competed to small tour degree. He and Annabella hit the bottom operating, with triple victory at their first worldwide present collectively, at Wellington CDI in Might.

    The pair have been subsequently chosen to compete on the junior European Championships at Oliva, Spain, in July. There, they made historical past by successful two particular person silver medals, with Annabella turning into the primary British rider to say a person podium place on the FEI junior European Dressage Championships.

    “Though I’d all the time dreamed of it, I by no means thought I’d get a medal in my first yr of juniors,” mentioned Annabella, following her plus-80% freestyle check.

    Annabella and Sultan Des Paludes additionally received the under-21 nationwide championship title in 2021, in addition to turning into superior medium gold champions.

    Annabella will flip 17 in November, so will nonetheless be eligible for juniors in 2022, and at simply 10 years outdated, Gio has lots extra expertise to supply within the years to return, so the longer term seems shiny for this younger pair. Annabella will proceed to coach along with her long-term coach, the Danish Olympic rider Cathrine Dufour, in addition to with Charlotte Dujardin on Gio.

    “Beneath the coaching of each Cathrine Dufour and Charlotte, I’ll work every single day to do my greatest by [Gio], bond with him and preserve him within the method he’s used to,” mentioned Annabella, who is predicated in Berkshire.

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