Charlotte, riding Florentina VI, posted a score of 79.12% to secure a treble and produce further evidence of her enviable string of horses in the build-up to the Tokyo 2020 Olympics.
A high-class field also included her Great Britain colleague at the recent World Equestrian Games – Emile Faurie, and London 2012 team mate Laura Tomlinson. Second place went to Nicola Buchanan and Halfmoon Dark Magic, with Becky Moody and Eureko taking third.
The Dressage Future Elite Championship is aimed at promising horses aged between eight and 10, with all of them performing an Inter I freestyle test. Charlotte triumphed in front of a bumper audience at the Genting Arena in Birmingham’s NEC, who roared their approval of one of world equestrian sport’s biggest stars.
Reflecting on her victory, she said:
“This is Florentina’s first real big indoor show, so she has never really been in an atmosphere like this and I wasn’t sure how she was going to cope with it, but she felt really good. I am really happy.
“It’s great to bring horses like her here and get them used to this environment and atmosphere. It’s great to be able to do that and such a great experience for her.”
It has been a busy schedule for the Gloucestershire-based rider in recent weeks, having claimed two bronze medals at the World Equestrian Games in Tryon, North Carolina, then travelling straight to the LeMieux British Dressage National Championships in Warwickshire before arriving at Horse of the Year Show.
“I have literally come home from WEG, went straight to the National Championships, and then to here. It has been non-stop, but WEG was fantastic. We weren’t sure if we were going to bring home a medal, but it went better than we could have ever have thought. I have learnt so much from going to WEG. With me, dealing with different aspects of it with Valegro, there was so much pressure, and now it is about bringing on another horse. I have got a fantastic string of horses, and heading towards Tokyo I think I will have about four grand prix horses lined up, which is a great position to be in. It’s fantastic.”