Seven times gold! It can’t shine more beautifully …
Olympic champion Jessica von Bredow-Werndl (35) sits casually on a paddock fence and cuddles with Trakehner mare Dalera (14). All the medals that the super-successful dressage duo won in 2021 glitter and sparkle in the midday sun.
Twice gold at the German championship! Two gold medals at the Olympics! Three times gold at the EM!
And the picturesque Chiemgau Alps on the horizon.
The scene arranged for the BILD photographer on the Aubenhausen family estate literally calls for the question: How do you manage to stay at the top after the peak of your career, Ms. von Bredow-Werndl?
The number 1 in the dressage world rankings smiles when she replies: “I don’t feel at the top, luckily I still feel at the very beginning of our career – I explicitly include my brother Benjamin here. Our goal is to ride championships for Germany together. Be it at European Championships, World Cup or Olympics. Or all three together. “
The 2021 Olympics in Tokyo was the highlight of her career in the dressage saddle so far, also emotionally.
“The moment I realized that I was an Olympic champion, it only became clear to me how much I really wanted that,” she says. “The dream I had as a ten-year-old, as a teenager, suddenly actually came true. I can’t describe this incredible feeling. But all viewers on television saw my tears. The falling tension, this huge joy – everything came out in that moment. “
And again when she gave a party in Aubenhausen that summer. “For our friends and partners, for everyone who has a share in the success. Dalera’s owner Beatrice Bürchler-Keller was there, the trainers, supervisors, veterinarians, farriers, physiotherapists “, says Jessica von Bredow-Werndl and laughs:” It was a magical summer evening, so exuberant, so beautiful! I didn’t drink a drop of alcohol – but nobody believed me because I danced so much. “
On July 27th she won the most valuable medals in Tokyo with the team and on July 28th in the individual. But she forged her Olympic gold “almost for decades,” as she says. With almost daily training, persistent work. Great will and great discipline.
Alone almost six years of meticulousness, patience and dedication in the Dalera saddle, it took the gold couple to achieve this harmony and grace in the 20 by 60 meter dressage area: piaffes, passages and pirouettes close to perfection. Traversals and flying canter changes too, of course.
Whether the German championship, the Olympics or the European Championship: In every Grand Prix Freestyle, the two achieved dream ratings of well over 90 percent this year. In every special there was always over 84 percent – and they also delivered the top result in the team.
“After the Olympics, I received countless, incredibly emotional letters and emails from fans who wrote to me that Dalera and I touched her with our performances, even moved her to tears,” says the gold rider from Bavaria: “I was able to imagine that people who experience us live feel the love and trust between us. But the fact that we have apparently succeeded in touching people all over the world through the television, that again moves me very much. “
At the German Championships in Balve at the beginning of June, there were already signs that von Bredow-Werndl is preparing to replace old master and record Olympic champion Isabell Werth (52) as queen of dressage riding this year: for the first time, she defeated her friend, rival and Former teacher in both the Grand Prix Special and the Grand Prix Freestyle. “That’s when I noticed: anything is possible. To be at the forefront in Germany means to be at the forefront in the world too. We are traditionally a very strong nation in dressage, ”she says.
This was proven once again in Tokyo when von Bredow-Werndl, Werth and Dorothee Schneider won the 14th team gold for Germany.
On December 19th, the Golden Girls came second in the election for Team of the Year in Baden-Baden, behind the women’s four-wheel track cycling team, who had won Olympic gold with three world records as well as World Cup and European Championship titles. Von Bredow-Werndl also took fourth place in the Sportswoman of the Year category.
“I’m very happy with what I have achieved,” she says: “But it was clear, regardless of the outcome in Tokyo, that nothing fundamentally would change in my life. The interest in myself has of course increased. But I continue to work with my horses, again with young horses that I want to bring into the big sport. I’m just as eager as ever, I noticed during training that I hadn’t let up. On the contrary: I have so much fun! I really want to develop myself further – and so does Dalera. “
Other than with this attitude, it would hardly have been possible after the Olympics in September at the European Championships in Hagen aTW to have three more gold medals follow. Von Bredow-Werndl: “Dalera doesn’t care whether it’s the Olympics or the European Championship, she always gives her best. It was good to measure ourselves again after a short break. “
Then she laughs: “We are like an old dance couple, the tricks, the lessons are easy. But it doesn’t feel like we’re at the limit. “
From a summit, however, it is easier to see distant destinations. Jessica von Bredow-Werndl: “You could now say: The pressure is gone, everything that comes is an encore. But we still have many goals. The World Cup final is in Leipzig in 2022, and we want to be there. Also at the World Cup in Denmark. And we have our sights set on the 2024 Olympics in Paris. Dalera will then be 17 and in the prime of her life. “
That sounds like Olympic gold can be repeated. “Of course that would be a goal,” smiles the dressage queen: “But I prefer to concentrate on the path, on my horses and on myself. That also helped in Tokyo. ”