In the world of equestrian sports, few duos stand out more than Norwegian rider Ingrid Gjelsten and her horse VDL Edgar. Their achievements in the international show jumping circuit are as inspiring as they are impressive, proving that the right combination of talent, dedication, and a fearless spirit can lead to extraordinary victories.

Unleashing The Power of VDL Edgar

VDL Edgar is not just any horse. He has been a sensational performer in the hands of Brazil's Marlon Modolo Zanoteilli between 2018 and 2023, earning 21 podium finishes and contesting five-star events world-wide. This included Zanoteilli's first Olympic Games at Tokyo 2020. However, the turning point came in 2023 when the Dutch warmblood gelding was bought by Gjelsten, an upcoming Norwegian rider who had been steadily making her mark in the equestrian world.

A Partnership That Works

Gjelsten and VDL Edgar represent a perfect blend of youth and experience, showcasing their synergy in an impressive array of performances. These include significant progress in the World Rankings, jumping from the 888th spot to the 443rd. Plus, the past three months have seen the duo's consistency truly shine.

Racking Up the Victories

In 2023 and 2024, Gjelsten and VDL Edgar contested several international rounds at 1.50m and demonstrated an enviable success rate. They started with clearing the hurdles at a 43% rate and making the top 10 29% of the time. In 2024, these stats amplified to an astonishing 80%. Let's not forget their victory at the 3* Grand Prix at Desert Horse Park in Thermal, CA.

Winning Big At The Desert Circuit

They did not just stop there. On the final Grand Prix of the 2024 Desert Circuit, Gjelsten and VDL Edgar secured their first clear at 1.55m and their first 4* Grand Prix win. Out of 33 starters, they were among the first to achieve a clear round, casting a wave of excitement and anticipation among the spectators.

Overcoming Challenges With Grace

Despite the pressure, the duo calmly navigated their way through the course. “I was very nervous so I was trying to not go crazy,” Gjelsten said. “My plan was to keep calm. I believe in Edgar and myself. He gives me so much self-belief. I feel like I can do anything with him."

Future Goals

With such an awe-inspiring journey so far, Gjelsten has her eyes set on bigger goals. "My goal is to do the top sport and do some World Cups and just keep going.” It seems like the future is incredibly bright for this powerhouse pair, and equestrian enthusiasts worldwide can expect more exhilarating performances from them.

The story of Gjelsten and VDL Edgar serves as a powerful reminder of what can be achieved with the right partnership, meticulous training, and unwavering belief in yourself. From a relatively unknown rank to the international limelight, their story continues to be an inspiration to many.