Thursday 21st of March 2019
Dressage

Charlotte returns in winning fashion

Double Olympic champion and triple world record holder Charlotte Dujardin turned back the clock as she returned to the Horse of the Year Show at Birmingham’s NEC in winning fashion. Charlotte, riding Hawtins Delicato, landed the Arbonne Dressage Future Elite Championship title on a score of 78.62%, thrilling a bumper Friday night crowd in the process.

Charlotte Dujardin © ES Photography

Charlotte Dujardin © ES Photography

And it evoked fond memories for the London 2012 and Rio 2016 Olympic gold medallist, who was highly successful in showing before she moved into dressage and won at the Horse of the Year Show. She said:

“It is a privilege to be here riding. There are lots of childhood memories for me being here, with competing in showing classes and winning a couple of times. Going into the main arena under the spotlight was always every girl’s dream, so to come here and ride here again, to win and go and then do it all again with the presentation was brilliant. It was so much fun.”

Charlotte won a national title with Hawtins Delicato last month, and with her legendary ride Valegro set to be retired later this year, he could be a future star for her. Charlotte added:

“He is going to be a top horse, really special. He is only eight, and that was only his second competition to music. It was also the first time in a massive indoor arena for him as well, so he dealt with all the pressure and the hot atmosphere really well. He was a bit tense at the start, but as I went through the test, he settled and I was really happy with him.”

Charlotte received a rapturous reception from her fans, and she underlined her intention and drive to remain at the sport’s pinnacle after Valegro has retired in December. She said:

“I love training horses, and I have a yard at home with some fantastic young horses that I am so excited to have.”

“To me, the next challenge is to go out and bring up another one and get another one at international level and compete for your country – the Europeans, the Worlds, the Olympics. I can’t wait to find the next one.”

Runner-up on dressage night at HOYS was Sonnar Murray-Brown, riding Erlentanz, while Tom Goode and Dior III finished third.

Listen to Charlotte talking to Rupert Bell here

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