Dujardin Wins Prix St Georges and Inter II Title on Day One of 2017 British Championships

Fri, 09/15/2017 - 11:07
2017 British Dressage Championships

The 2017 British Dressage Championships got underway on Thursday 14 September 2017 at Stoneleigh Park. A blustery but bright September day at the Warwickshire venue set the scene for a day of exciting competition and the 2017 Nationals are already turning out to be all about Dujardin, who grabbed the first two FEI level titles of the day.

Since the retirement of Valegro after the 2016 Rio Olympic Games, the ruling World and Olympic champion has not competed on the European continent. Aside from two CDI's starts at small tour level in Great Britain, Dujardin has disappeared from the international spotlight. At national level, however, she is winning it all across the levels.

Mount St John Freestyle Wins Prix St Georges Title

Charlotte Dujardin and Mount St John Freestyle once again showed their class and blew away the competition in the Fairfax Saddles Prix St Georges Championships to add another title to their growing collection. The pair danced their way around the arena to earn an immense 78.03% from judges Gwyneth Lewis, Clive Halsall, Maria Colliander, David Trott and Jennie Loriston-Clarke.

The eight-year-old mare by Fidermark is building up an impressive reputation at the advanced levels and looks set for international success when she makes her Grand Prix debut in 2018. ‘I’m really happy,’ Charlotte said about her win with Freestyle, ‘She’s completely amazing to ride and she just has everything ready to go. It’s just a matter now of keeping her on track as she’s still only eight.’

The reigning Olympic Champion also managed to finish in second place with En Vogue – a horse who’s not been easy throughout the early stages of his career.  Talking about her Reserve Champion she said, ‘I bought him as a wild three-year-old who we couldn’t even catch in the stable’ She continued, ‘He’s by Jazz and I’ve always wanted one; I love a challenge!’

Discussing her day further Charlotte explained that she was particularly happy with the results considering the conditions, ‘The atmosphere was really electric and so windy, there were a lot of flapping flags. It was En Vogue’s worst nightmare.’

The rest of the week is a busy one for Charlotte as she is set to compete in six more classes. About her exciting string she said, ‘I really enjoy them all and they are all completely different. The Nationals are great for getting all the inexperienced ones out, it’s a really good event for gaining exposure.’

Hawtins Delicato Wins Inter II Title

This year it was Charlotte Dujardin and Hawtins Delicato to win the prestigious Intermediate II Championship. The famed class has proven to be a stepping stone to Grand Prix success; last year’s winner Carinsio (Becky Moody) enjoyed a successful season in 2017 at the top level whilst second placed horse Don Carissimo (Gareth Hughes) earned a place on this year’s GB team travelling out to Gothenburg for the European Championships.

The future certainly looks bright for ‘Del’ who scored 72.03% after a fantastic test piloted as expertly as usual by Charlotte. This win continues an impressive run of form for the pair who were also victorious at the Hickstead CDI in July.

‘I was super happy with his changes, trot half passes and extensions,’ said Charlotte about her test, ‘he’s just a little green still so the transitions into the piaffe weren’t great today. It’s only his second Inter II so I can’t complain at all, he’s very talented.’

Charlotte narrowly avoided disaster and showed her skills to regain Del’s attention after a blip just before her test, ‘He felt great in the warm up but he didn’t want to go into the arena.’

The nine-year-old son of Diamond Hit will be aimed at Grand Prix next year with a view to Carl Hester taking over the ride. Carl has previously said that the ultimate goal will be the 2020 Olympics in Tokyo but for now all focus is on next year’s World Equestrian Games in Tryon.

‘I’ve done all the work!’ Charlotte explained, ‘I keep trying to persuade him to get on!’

Text by British Dressage, edited by Eurodressage - Photos © Kevin Sparrow

Related Link
Scores 2017 British Dressage Championships