Friday 21st of June 2019
Dressage

Olympic gold medallist dominates at Nationals

Fresh from Rio, Olympic gold and silver medallist, Charlotte Dujardin claimed a whopping six titles at the LeMieux National Dressage Championships in Stoneleigh, Warwickshire.

Fairfax PSG Charlotte-Dujardin Hawtins Delicato © Kevin Sparrow

Fairfax PSG Charlotte-Dujardin Hawtins Delicato © Kevin Sparrow

Charlotte Dujardin Mount St John © Kevin Sparrow

Charlotte Dujardin Mount St John Freestyle © Kevin Sparrow

Charlotte Dujardin Mount St John VIP © Kevin Sparrow

Charlotte Dujardin Mount St John VIP © Kevin Sparrow

Charlotte Dujardin Mount St John VIP © Kevin Sparrow

Charlotte Dujardin Mount St John VIP © Kevin Sparrow

Charlotte Dujardin Brioso II Childeric Elementary Gold © Kevin Sparrow

Charlotte Dujardin Brioso II Childeric Elementary Gold © Kevin Sparrow

Aboard Carl Hester and Ann Cory’s eight-year-old British-bred Diamond Hit gelding, Hawtins Delicato, the 31-year-old stormed to victory in the Fairfax Saddles Prix St Georges Gold Championship, a mega hot class that was jam-packed with top riders and talented horses, on a fabulous score of 75.66% – the exact same score achieved by the duo at Hartpury Premier League in the horse’s first ever PSG. An exhilarated Charlotte after an energetic lap of honour announced:

“I’m so thrilled! I’ve only competed him three times as Amy Woodhead usually rides him, so for me to come here and get that score and that test out of him was just amazing.”

On the second day of the competition, the Dodson & Horrell Novice Gold was filled with quality as all bar four of the 32 starters broke the 67% barrier. Charlotte Dujardin added to her tally with the stunning Mount St John VIP, owned by the Mount St John stud. 

The five-year-old mare kept her focus despite being caught in the torrential downpours of Friday and a score of 76.88% left the pair a clear three percent ahead of the field.  Charlotte, who subsequently started producing the daughter of Donnerhall last year revealed: 

“I rode her as a three-year-old in Germany and fell in love with her. She didn’t compete as a four-year-old, but she’s amazing and exactly my type of horse; she’s elastic, energetic and has an incredible work ethic.”

The new competition structure now allows top riders to contest the Novice Championships and Charlotte was one of several stars taking advantage of this.

She said:

“It’s fantastic to have something like this to aim for with the young horses; it’s such good experience for them.”

In fact, the last time Charlotte contested a championship at this level was in 2007, when she won the Novice Open title at Stoneleigh on Valegro, the horse that ended up taking her to the Olympics.

Her third title came in the TopSpec Medium Gold Championship on Wendy and Paul Dockley and her own Florentina VI. The flamboyant dapple grey daughter of Vivaldi produced some breath-taking work, belying her six years to score 75.42%.

 

Florentina, who qualified at the Mount Ballan Summer Regional Championships, claimed the Shearwater Five-Year-Old Championship here last year and has since won every Medium class contested, even breaking the 80% barrier. The exquisite mare has caught the eye of many and looks to be an exciting prospect for the future. Charlotte later revealed that Florentina has an embryo transfer foal on the way by Negro.

Achieving the highest score of the four-day competition and her fourth title of the Championships, Charlotte and Mount St John Freestyle reigned supreme in yesterday’s Equine Construction Advanced Medium.

Charlotte and the Mount St John Stud-owned seven-year-old daughter of Fidermark scored an incredible 78.82%, more than six percent ahead of the rest of the field in a super-hot Championship final where nine competitors breached the 70% barrier. Freestyle is a cracker – the complete package – and great asset to Charlotte’s arsenal of horsepower. Charlotte said of Freestyle:

“She has a complete heart of gold. She always tries her hardest and she finds the work so easy.”

The beautiful bay mare moved through each element of the test with great poise and effortless expression. Expertly ridden by Charlotte, the high quality work raked in the marks from five judges.

Aboard Carl Hester’s six-year-old mare, Brioso II (Benetton Dream x Dimaggio), Charlotte took an early lead in the Childéric Saddles Elementary Gold Championship with her impressive score of 75.88%. Unable to topple the eventual champion but producing a brilliant test to score 73.47%, second place went to Paul Hayler with the six-year-old Vivaldi-sired gelding, FJ Veyron – owned by Fiona James.

Charlotte had an incredibly busy schedule over the four days combining her rides with the demands of press interviews and appearances. She laughed:

“I’m delighted I’ve remembered every test! On Saturday I got on my first horse at 6.45am and didn’t get off until six in the evening. I’m so pleased with how it’s gone, it’s really good for the owners. They’re all different horses and they’re a little green at their levels but they’ve all performed so well.”

It’s exciting for Charlotte and British dressage that she has such a wealth of young horsepower waiting in the wings.

“After the announcement of Valegro’s retirement, people think that’s it for me but I’m very lucky to have fantastic owners behind me and these talented young horses to compete.”

Last night, Charlotte headed off to New York with Valegro to perform a freestyle demo at the Rolex Central Park Horse Show. She told British Dressage yesterday:

“I go to the airport this evening and fly to New York in the morning. Valegro is already on his way. It’s in Central Park so I’m really excited. Everyone loves to see Valegro and I’m always amazed at the emotion he creates in people. I’m really looking forward to it.”

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