Footage courtesy of Hartpury College

Charlotte Dujardin and Valegro had a dream final grand prix run at their last show before their planned appearance at the European Dressage Championships in Aachen in August.

The pair won the grand prix at Hartpury CDI, during the Gloucestershire venue’s Festival of Dressage today (10 July). They scored 85.44% — almost identical to their 85.41% winning grand prix test at the Last Vegas World Cup final in April, which was the pair’s most recent outing.

From third-last draw, they prevailed in the 23-strong class. Their test was smooth and clean, with no mistakes. Valegro, now 13, looked relaxed and happy in his work, but was still able to pull out the power and his trademark trot extensions and exceptional pirouettes.

In the same class, Carl Hester posted a huge new international grand prix personal best with Nip Tuck, whose capacity as a grand prix horse just keeps on growing. They posted 78.04%, smashing their previous best by almost 3%, to take second place.

Footage courtesy of Hartpury College

Fiona Bigwood rounded out the top three with an assured performance on her Gribaldi mare Atterupgaards Orthilia (76.8%). The top three’s performances bode very well for the upcoming European Championships.

And there are other British combinations waiting in the wings, as proven by two other combinations breaking the 70% barrier.

Tactful riding from British squad rider Gareth Hughes saw him and Classic Briolinca score over 71%, despite the mare taking fright and reversing for a few strides in both the initial and final halts. But the nine-year-old’s piaffe and passage is of such quality that she can still post chunky scores even with mistakes.

Henriette Andersen and Warlock’s Charm were the other combination to impress the judges, finishing with 70.28%.

Meanwhile, in Germany, one of Valegro’s biggest rivals, Totilas, was ridden to over 80% by Matthias Rath in the grand prix in Hagen. The Europeans are shaping up to be an interesting battle-ground.

Full report from Hartpury Festival of Dressage on sale in Horse & Hound magazine, on sale Thursday 16 July