Another day and another medal for Great Britain’s dancing duo. Charlotte Dujardin and Valegro added a second gold to their name - and the third medal of their Alltech FEI World Equestrian Games debut - at today’s Grand Prix Freestyle.
Together they produced spectacular work, especially in the trot, transitions and pirouettes, to earn high marks across the board from the judges. Their massive score of 92.161% lit up the scoreboard, much to the delight of the crowd. Winning today’s Freestyle completes the set, meaning the talented duo can now add the title of World Champions to their already impressive resume, alongside their Olympic and European titles.
After her test a delighted Charlotte commented; “It’s my third time riding that test so it’s still very new, so to do what I’ve done with it is fantastic. He just felt brilliant; I’m very pleased and absolutely over the moon.
“It’s just absolutely incredible. After London I didn’t think it could get much better, but to go to the Europeans and come away with two golds and now to come away with another two golds and a team silver I just couldn’t have asked for any more. I just go out there and have fun, I don’t really think about the pressure. Riding a horse like Valegro gives you so much confidence I just go in there and do my best and that’s all I can do.”
When asked later about Carl, she said; “He’s the best trainer in the world. What he’s done for me and the opportunities he’s given me, I couldn’t have asked for any more.”
GBR’s Carl Hester and Michael Eilberg also took the arena by storm today, with stand-out performances by both riders and their WEG debutants.
Michael Eilberg with Jon and Julie Deverill’s talented grey mare Half Moon Delphi rode a beautiful test to finish eighth with 79.696% after some impressive displays of passage and piaffe to their Spanish inspired music scored the combination high marks.
“That was a good way to end. I rode in there today and the stadium was packed, you really feel it, I was just hoping she’d maintain her concentration and show some of the work I know she’s capable of.
“The mare’s been on super form, which is why I was hoping this competition would be a good one for me; it’s why I was so disappointed with the Grand Prix result. In the Grand Prix, it was just one of those tests; going back in for the Special and getting that feeling, I felt a lot more positive.”
Carl rode a lovely test with the ever impressive Nip Tuck, owned by Jane De La Mare, to a personal best with 76.589%, in only his third Freestyle.
Commenting afterwards he said, “He’s been absolutely superb. He has exceeded mine, the owners, all our expectations; he’s just been a complete and utter genius this week. How he’s managed to cope, how he’s managed to take in the noise and the atmosphere has been amazing.
“Richard Waygood, our Chef said to me ‘when you rode in, it was like being at a football match’ [the noise from the crowd], it really does feel like that, the wall of sound is deafening and there were so many Union flags everywhere you looked.”
Equestrian Team GBR is supported by the UK Sport Lottery funded World Class Programme; the British teams are very grateful to the support they receive from official Team GBR suppliers Dodson and Horrell, Land Rover, Mears Country Jackets, NAF, NuuMed, Point Two Equine, Tagg Equestrian and Toggi.