Charlotte Dujardin: from show ponies to European dressage champion

  • Born in 1986, Charlotte Dujardin first found success in the pony showing world, winning at both the Horse of the Year Show and the Royal International Horse Show, before spending four years working for dressage rider and judge, Judy Harvey.

    When Charlotte’s mother, Jane, met Carl Hester in 2007, she persuaded him to give her daughter lessons.

    Fortunately for Charlotte, after grooming for Carl for just 10 days, he gave her a permanent role on his Gloucestershire yard and she has been there ever since.

    Charlotte has enjoyed incredible success on Carl and Roly Luard’s Valegro, becoming individual Olympic champion at the London 2012 Games with Valegro, as well as winning team gold.

    Their success on the international stage began in 2010 when they went on the Spanish Sunshine Tour, winning both the prix st georges and the intermediaire I in week one.

    Charlotte and Valegro won their grand prix debut in January 2011 and came second in the grand prix before winning the grand prix special at Saumur CD13* in May 2011.

    Charlotte had owned Fernandez, who she bought as a three-year-old and produced up to grand prix with Carl’s help, before selling him to the Norwegian rider Cathrine Rasmussen in September 2011.

    Charlotte was part of the British gold medal-winning team at the 2011 European championships in Rotterdam with Valegro. She also won the Reem Acra FEI World Cup dressage qualifier at Olympia in 2011.

    As well as helping with training at Carl’s yard, Charlotte has a growing list of elite clients of her own, including top event rider Mark Todd, who won Badminton in 2011.

    Charlotte has also competed Carl’s London Olympic horse Uthopia — winning the grand prix and kur on their debut together at Saumur CDI in May 2013.

    At the 2013 European Dressage Championships in Herning, Denmark Charlotte was part of the bronze medal winning British team — setting a new world grand prix record on Valegro of 85.942%.

    She also claimed individual gold medals in the grand prix special and the freestyle — becoming Britain’s first European dressage champion.

    Take a look at Charlotte and Valegro in pictures

    Visit Charlotte Dujardin’s official website

    Don’t miss our full report from the European Dressage, Para Dressage and Showjumping Championships in this week’s issue of Horse & Hound magazine (29 August 2013), where we take a look at Charlotte’s performances in full detail.

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