Not long back from Rio, Olympic gold and silver medallist, Charlotte Dujardin collected an amazing six titles at the LeMieux National Dressage Championships in Stoneleigh, Warwickshire.
Riding Carl Hester and Ann Cory’s eight-year-old British-bred gelding, Hawtins Delicato, Charlotte strode to victory with a fabulous score of 75.66% in the Fairfax Saddles Prix St Georges Gold Championship, a heavily contested class with top riders and talented horses.
By day two, Charlotte took the title in the Dodson & Horrell Novice Gold class on a score of 76.88% with five-year-old Mount St John VIP. This class was very competitive with 28 of the 32 starters being awarded over the 67% barrier. “I rode her as a three-year-old in Germany and fell in love with her,” said Charlotte. “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.”
Taking advantage of the new ruling which allows top riders to now contest the Novice Championships, Charlotte took advantage of this. “It’s fantastic to have something like this to aim for with the young horses; it’s such good experience for them,” said Charlotte.
Her third title came in the TopSpec Medium Gold Championship on the dapple grey Florentina VI with a score of 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.
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 the Equine Construction Advanced Medium with an incredible score of 78.82%. “She has a complete heart of gold,” said Charlotte. “She always tries her hardest and she finds the work so easy.”
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 gelding, FJ Veyron.
Charlotte seems to have a string of young horses ready to come up the ranks. “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,” said Charlotte.