Both Carl Hester and Charlotte Dujardin claimed top three places at Rotterdam CHIO today. They contested the CDI3*, which is a separate class from the Nations Cup rounds, in which they are also riding.

Three judges deemed Charlotte’s test better than Edward Gal’s (the only two judges to have Edward ahead of her were both Dutch), but her final score of 75.064% was only good enough for second.

Edward extended his unbeaten run at international grand prix on the black De Niro stallion Glock’s Voice, squeaking ahead with 75.277%.

Charlotte’s test on Uthopia was not foot-perfect and there were mistakes in the two-time changes.

“It was my fault entirely,” she told H&H. “I messed up — it was simple rider error. I moved my legs too quickly so he started doing ones.”

It’s no wonder the partnership has not totally gelled yet — this was only the second test Charlotte had ever ridden on the 12-year-old stallion by Metall.

Carl did well to keep a lid on the massive, reactive Donnerschwee gelding Dances With Wolves, scoring 71.851%.

“He started mega but got wound up, so I ‘missed’ the one-times,” he reported. “Up until that point he was around the 75% mark.

“He had to go in that big arena as preparation for the Europeans though.

“It’s just a shame we came third and not fourth and now we have to go back into that electric atmosphere for the prize-giving,” he joked.

Carl and Charlotte are back in action tomorrow in the first round of the Nations Cup.

Charlotte will compete Valegro for the first time since her world-record breaking trip to Olympia last year and Carl rides Fine Time IV. They join team-mates Gareth Hughes (DV Stenkjers Nadonna) and Daniel Watson (Fideramber).