Records tumbled on the third and final day of international grand prix dressage at the Horses And Dreams Meets Great Britain CDI in Hagen, Germany.
Drawn 13th to go of 15 in the grand prix special, Charlotte Dujardin and the 10-year-old Valegro broke the world record for grand prix special, scoring 88.022% with a majestic performance.
“He felt absolutely amazing,” said Charlotte, who was riding the Olympic special for the first time and hadn’t ridden through it on “Blueberry” before.
Charlotte, who led the class by more than 8% over second placed Anna Kasprzak (Donnperignon), said: “I’m so grateful for the opportunity to ride such a fantastic horse; I’m one of the luckiest girls in the world.”
And she believes there is more to come from Valegro.
“He has power beyond belief; you press and he gives you more and more. I’m still holding him back a bit,” she added.
Personal bests all round
Laura Bechtolsheimer posted a personal best of 87.6% and set a new British record in the afternoon’s freestyle to music.
But once again it wasn’t quite enough to beat Matthias Rath and Totilas on home soil; they also scored a personal best of 88.025%. Two judges had Laura to win, but the over-inflated 91.125% (just 1% shy of the world record) awarded to Totilas by Dutch judge Ghislain Fourage made sure of the black stallion’s victory.
Both competitors were riding to new music compilations; Matthias to a Michael Jackson medley and Laura to a Lion King sound track.
Laura, who felt her performance could have been more polished, said: “My trainers were happy with how the test looked, but with more practice it can be even better.”
For a full report see Thursday’s Horse & Hound magazine