Riding Carl Hester and Sasha Stewart’s 14-year-old Metall stallion Uthopia, Charlotte Dujardin once again impressed not only the crowds but also the judges, scoring 77.46% to claim the top spot in Tuesday night’s Reem Acra FEI World Cup dressage grand prix, supported by Horse & Hound.

Charlotte Dujardin riding Uthopia winner of the Reem Acra FEI World Cup Dressage Grand Prix at The London International Horse Show 2015 at Olympia, London , UK on 15th December 2015

Charlotte Dujardin riding Uthopia winner of the Reem Acra FEI World Cup Dressage grand prix at The London International Horse Show 2015 at Olympia, London , UK on 15th December 2015

The pair pipped Carl Hester to the post, he and his own and Jane de la Mare’s Don Ruto 11-year-old Nip Tuck posting 76.66% to finish second with an athletic, confident performance to make it a British one-two.

Carl Hester riding Nip Tuck during the Reem Acra FEI World Cup Dressage Grand Prix at The London International Horse Show 2015 at Olympia, London , UK on 15th December 2015

Carl Hester riding Nip Tuck during the Reem Acra FEI World Cup Dressage grand prix at The London International Horse Show 2015 at Olympia, London , UK on 15th December 2015

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Dutch rider Hans Peter Minderhoud filled third position with the Florestan I 14-year-old Glock’s Flirt, snapping at Carl’s heels with a score of 76.12%. The pair made it look easy with a virtually mistake-free test, just marred by a loss of balance in the piaffe on the final centre line.

Hans Peter Minderhoud riding 10 Glocks Flirt during the Reem Acra FEI World Cup Dressage Grand Prix at The London International Horse Show 2015 at Olympia, London , UK on 15th December 2015

Hans Peter Minderhoud riding 10 Glocks Flirt during the Reem Acra FEI World Cup Dressage grand prix at The London International Horse Show 2015 at Olympia, London , UK on 15th December 2015

 

“I’m over the moon with that test,” said Charlotte afterwards. “Uthopia hasn’t competed for a long time and it’s a big atmosphere so I was thrilled with him. We haven’t done an awful lot of tests together, so it’s still a new partnership.

“Being a stallion, he is totally different to Valegro,” she added. “On Valegro I think and it just happens, whereas Uthopia I really have to ride every second. Being a stallion, he’s a bit smarter and more switched on, but he’s great fun to ride.

“Just the left pirouette was a little small. He knows that test inside out and he knew where that pirouette was before I got there.”

The top 15 combinations from the grand prix will go forward to contest Wednesday evening’s freestyle, when Carl and Nip Tuck will unveil their much-anticipated new routine, set to music from Mr Selfridge.