Charlotte Dujardin completes world record hat-trick

Charlotte Dujardin completes world record hat-trick

British Olympic and European Champion Charlotte Dujardin is the new holder of the world record score for freestyle. With her champion partner Valegro the pair scored 93.975% in the Reem Acra FEI World Cup™ Dressage Grand Prix Freestyle at Olympia, The London International Horse Show. The score beat the former world record of 92.3% set by Edward Gal and Totilas, also at Olympia, in 2009.

Charlotte and Valegro, owned by her trainer and mentor Carl Hester and long time supporter Roly Luard, now hold the world record for all three grand prix tests. “I can’t believe it – I am over the moon and just ecstatic,” said Charlotte who was riding to her ‘Great Escape’ music for the last time. “I really wanted to come here and see if I could break the record to this music and at Olympia. It has been such an incredible journey with Valegro – I have achieved so much more than I ever imagined,” said Charlotte.

Each of the five judges individual scores was over the former record – French judge Isabelle Judet awarded an astonishing 96.625%  – and the capacity crowd of 8,000, the largest ever on dressage night at Olympia, was on their feet applauding the bold and powerful performance even before the score flashed up on the board.

“Today I have given so many tens I have lost count which is a reflection of the quality of riders, horses and fantastic sport we have seen here,” said judge Andrew Gardner President of the Ground Jury.

Not only did the British pair rob Dutchman Edward Gal of his former title but also demoted him to second place. With the elegant Glock’s Undercover Edward enchanted the audience with a moving freestyle that highlighted the 12-year-old’s ability for piaffe and passage. The Dutch team rider was however gracious in defeat.

“I knew that losing my record, would happen one day – so I just have to practice more for the future,” said Edward.

As in last night’s grand prix young Dutch rider Danielle Heijkoop took third place on her first visit to the London venue with the 14-year-old Gribaldi gelding Kingsley Siro whose test made much of powerful passage and off the floor piaffe.

The British combination of Michael Eilberg and Half Moon Delphi, last to go and following the new record holders had a hard act to follow but gave it their all to a foot-tapping Latin routine that earned fourth place.

Olympia debutante Lara Griffith also had a night to remember gaining ninth place on Andretti H formerly ridden by her mentor Laura Tomlinson who also came under the spotlight. It was however for the last time with her Olympic team gold medal partner Mistral Hojris who was officially retired.

“I am sad that Alf won’t be part of my future journey but glad that he is leaving British dressage in safe hands,” said Laura who won ten championship medals with the 18-year-old chestnut.