Smashing Grand Prix Victory for Dujardin and Valegro at 2011 CDI-W London

Wed, 12/14/2011 - 10:03
2011 CDI-W London

The Grand Prix at the 2011 CDI-W London, a qualifier for the World Cup Freestyle tomorrow night, proved a one-two-three and four for the home side and win for this year’s British European gold medal team rookie, Charlotte Dujardin and Valegro. Despite being a World Cup and Olympia debut the combination sailed through the test to score 81.04%.

The 25-year-old, who is based in Gloucestershire, was the only one to break the 80% barrier and in doing so set a new personal best.

“It’s been my goal all year to break 80% so to come here and do it is just fabulous and I am over the moon,” said Charlotte who admitted to feeling arena nerves. “We have never competed in an arena like that – it really is quite daunting in there, the audience feel really close and being on home soil I felt  bit of pressure but Valegro soon settled which helped me relax.”

British European team gold medallists Laura Bechtolsheimer and Mistral Hojris were second while Carl Hester and Uthopia were third having lost valuable marks due to expensive mistakes in the canter pirouettes.

“We are clearly a little ring rusty and there were a few lapses of concentration tonight but tomorrow we start again and I have a chance to catch up,” said Carl who has trained Charlotte and Valegro for the last five years. “I have a huge amount of pride in Charlotte and I did predict that she would win this. For a horse that is still only nine-years-old and that has not been back in work long their score tonight is impressive and I am more and more convinced that he is capable of winning individual gold next year.”

The Hester connection continued down the line; Charlotte’s former grand prix horse Fernandez impressed under his new Norwegian rider Charlotte Rasmussen, who only took the ride in September, while the stallion Pro-Set also formerly trained and ridden by Carl also looked at home in the arena to take 10th place with Norwegian rider Lillann Jebsen.

Edited Text © Olympia
Photo © Astrid Appels

Related Links
Scores 2011 CDI-W London
Eurodressage Coverage of the 2011-2012 World Cup Season