Women Winning In Horse Sport

Charlotte Dujardin, recently dominated dressage
Credit : Scoopdyga

Tuesday 13 March - 11h44 | Maxence Magnin

Women Winning In Horse Sport

Last week the world celebrated International Women’s Day, when the great things that women have done are recognized. Equestrian sport is one of the only ones where women and men compete on completely equal terms in the same competitions, and today Grand Prix highlights a few who have recently been on top of their game.  


It is impossible to speak of this discipline without mentioning the name of the incredible Charlotte Dujardin - who, during the Valegro years - won all the individual titles of each championship in which she competed (Olympic Games twice, Europe twice and World Championships). Today she is preparing new young horses for the succession, thus threatening the reign of German Isabell Werth, indisputable figure of international Dressage and current World Number One, who also has a list of gold medals at the most important championships. Dressage has often been dominated by women, with Anky Van Gruysen and Nicole Uphoff also having both won multiple championship titles.


Jumping - Women Winning In Horse Sport

Beezie Madden and cortez C help the USA to an Olympic medal
Credit : Scoopdyga

Women have also made their mark in this discipline, the only Olympic equestrian discipline where men generally dominate.  A few years ago, Meredith Michaels-Beerbaum, the American-born German, broke with men's domination by becoming the first woman to top the world jumping ranking. She also has three wins with the same horse in the FEI World Cup Final, in addition to her team and individual gold medals at the World and European Championships. In the world of jumping,Reed Kessler is the youngest rider to compete at the Olympic Games (at 18 years old). On the other hand, the American rider Leslie Burr-Howard, is still riding at high level at the age of 61. It is also important to mention Beezie Madden, an emblematic figure of the American show jumping who is involved at all levels in equestrian sports, in addition to her formidable track record.

In France, it is impossible to forget Pénélope Leprévost, who contributed to the last medals of the French team at the World Championships and Olympic Games, with Flora de Mariposa and Mylord Carthago.  And the Australian Edwina Tops-Alexander merits a mention, who joined Meredith Michaels Beerbaum in the final four of the 2006 World Championship and since has been the Global Champions Tour overall winner.

​Going back a little further, the British team was joined on many occasions by the excellent Liz Edgar, who has been followed in recent years by Jessica Mendoza.


Eventing - Women Winning In Horse Sport

Pippa Funnell, Supreme Rock, Grand Slam winners
Credit : Scoopdyga

Sandra Auffarth and Ingrid Klimke are iconic figures in this sport as they have contributed greatly to the medals of their German team at the last championships. The former was a double gold medalist at the last World Equestrian Games in Caen, while the second, who is also playing at a very good level in show jumping and dressage, was returning from the Beijing and London Olympics with a Team gold medal around her neck and then took the 2017 individual title. It is thanks to these two ladies that team-mate Michael Jung has not won EVERY gold medal over the last eight years or so!

In Britain, Pippa Funnel is still the only female to have won the Eventing Grand Slam, and both she and team mate Tina Cook have lifted  the individual gold at European Championships.  Gemma Tattersall won the Event Rider Masters championship in 2017 beating a host of male rivals while in the USA, Kimberley Seversome and Winsome Adante remain the only combination to win the Lexington Three Day Event  three times, the USA's only CCI 4* event. And they also collected an individual silver at the Athens Olympics.

Finally, last October, Gwendolen Fer made history by becoming the first French woman to win a CCI 4 * when she took the title in Pau with her horse Romantic Love.

Further reading...