Valegro makes appearance at Hartpury

Hartpury hosted a night to remember at their Gala Evening event this weekend as part of their Festival of Dressage. 

Valegro lapped up the attention from the packed out arena (Pic: Charlotte Colley)

Valegro lapped up the attention from the packed out arena (Pic: Charlotte Colley)

Richard Davison lead the way in the feature class of the night, while Charlotte Dujardin showcased star horses of past and present.

The hotly contested last class of the day - the Superflex FEI Grand Prix Freestyle - saw Richard Davison take the honours aboard the striking bay gelding Bubblingh.

The British pair lit up the Hartpury Arena with a technical floorplan and toe-tapping music, earning them a total score of 76.775%.

Just 0.125% behind, in second place, was Davison’s fellow British rider Gareth Hughes riding Anne Keen’s gelding Don Carissimo.

Richard Davison riding Bubblingh (Pic: Charlotte Colley

Richard Davison riding Bubblingh (Pic: Charlotte Colley

An accomplished test from Canadian Diane Creech put her into third place with Chrevis Christo, only a few marks behind on 75.150%.

The other major class of the evening was the Elite Stallions British Young Horse Championshp, for which seven qualifying combinations came forward.

Charlotte Dujardin added to her impressive tally of wins at this year’s Festival of Dressage by taking first place with eight-year-old bay mare Mount St John Freestyle, achieving a stunning score of 82.19%.

She also took second place with her own and Sandra Biddlecombe’s En Vogue, scoring 72.98%.

Daniel Greenwood rounded off the placings in third with Lukien Von Tespe after earning 69.78% from the judges.

Speaking to judge Isobel Wessels immediately after her test, Charlotte said: “She [Mount St John Freestyle] has a heart of gold, she is unbelievable, no matter what atmosphere she is in and isn’t afraid of anything – nothing bothers her.

“Next year I really hope to have her for the World Equestrian Games. She is only eight but she just shows such huge talent. I feel very lucky to have a horse like this to follow on from what I had with Valegro ... It’s all so natural for her, she’s a really special horse.”

Charlotte Dujardin riding Mount St John Freestyle (Pic: Charlotte Colley)

Charlotte Dujardin riding Mount St John Freestyle (Pic: Charlotte Colley)

Alongside the top-level competition, the Hartpury crowd were treated to two fantastic dressage demonstrations.

The first came from popular pair Charlie and Abi Hutton who returned for the third year. Also making a third appearance was Charlie’s Premier League ride Hawkins Rossana - the chestnut mare known as ‘Rosie’, 

The second demonstration of the evening featured a very special appearance from superstar horse, Valegro.

Charlotte Dujardin treated the packed stands to a display and lapped up the applause as they danced out to Tina Turner's Simply The Best.

Phillip Cheetham, Hartpury Equine Director, said: “It was a pleasure to welcome Charlotte and Valegro back to the Hartpury Arena. We are incredibly grateful to Charlotte and Carl for allowing this wonderful horse to come and visit his adoring fans.”

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