“If I defend my individual champion title I’ll be the happiest girl in the world,” said Charlotte Dujardin ahead of this summer’s FEI European dressage championships.

Charlotte and Valegro will be travelling to Aachen (11-23 August) and said she is looking forward to taking on her old rivals.

The reigning European, World and Olympic champion added that she is “extremely excited” about the upcoming competition.

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Charlotte is currently favourite to take gold but will be up against home riders Isabell Werth, Jessica von Bredow-Werndl and Kristina Bröring-Sprehe. Organisers also hope to see Matthias Rath and Totilas at the show, as it was announced earlier this week that the pair are to make their comeback at Hagen — a qualifying show for the Europeans.

Dutch riders Edward Gal and Adelinde Cornelissen will also be competing.

It’s massively exciting and I’m really looking forward to it,” said Charlotte of defending her title. “Aachen has a great atmosphere and a great crowd. You can’t ask for more than that really.

The dressage competitions start on 12 August and are held in the main stadium at Aachen, which seats 40,000.

“Valegro loves the crowds,” Charlotte added. “He’s such a showman and I think he knows that so he tries his hardest and enjoys it every time.”

The duo are also due to compete in Gloucestershire at the Festival of Dressage at Hartpury next month (8-12 July).

This will be their only competition before the Europeans.

Charlotte and Valegro’s last appearance at Hartpury was in 2012, when they claimed the British grand prix freestyle record with 90.65%, just a month before being crowned double Olympic gold medallists.

“We are thrilled that Charlotte and Valegro are planning to compete at the Hartpury Festival of Dressage,” said Hartpury’s Phillip Cheetham.

The Festival always attracts a star-studded line-up of competitors from all over the world but, to have such a renowned ambassador for the sport at the college is very special.

“To have the chance to watch the very best in the world at our unique venue is an opportunity not to be missed.”