Charlotte Dujardin will not be able to defend her World Cup title this year.

The Olympic gold medallist cannot compete at the final in Gothenburg, Sweden (24-28 March) due to a legal dispute surrounding her qualified ride Uthopia’s ownership.

As the current reigning champion, Charlotte was automatically eligible for the 2016 final with a horse of her choice.

To compete, she must have taken part in the freestyle to music at least two of the Reem Acra FEI World Cup Dressage qualifiers with the horse she planned to ride in the final.

This makes Uthopia, who she competed in qualifiers at Olympia in December and Amsterdam in January, her sole choice.

“Due to the ongoing legal dispute around Uthopia’s ownership, the horse won’t be available to compete at the Reem Acra FEI World Cup dressage final in Gothenburg, and therefore Charlotte will be sadly unable to defend her title,” a British Dressage spokesman told H&H.

“We are not able to comment further on it at present due to the sensitivity of the situation.”

The combination won the Olympia grand prix on a score of 77.46% and came second in the freestyle with 82.55%.

In Amsterdam, they finished fifth in the grand prix on 76.24% and fourth in the freestyle with 82.375%.

This is not the first time H&H has reported Uthopia’s ownership has been in dispute.

Following the London 2012 Olympics — where he was on the gold medal-winning team with rider Carl Hester — complications surrounding the horse’s ownership blocked any potential sale of the stallion.

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Charlotte won the 2015 title in Las Vegas with dressage superstar Valegro.

The pair scored 94.2% in the grand prix freestyle final — just short of their own world record of 94.3%.

Charlotte and Valegro also won in 2014 at Lyon after being invited to compete on a wildcard.