Charlotte Dujardin’s SPOTY nomination represents the coming of age of dressage. As Clare Balding predicted, the sport was the “dark horse” at London 2012 and has been gathering steam ever since. Never before have we been serious team contenders at major championships, let alone at three in a row.
And that’s largely thanks to the astounding and inspiring performances of one pair: Charlotte and Valegro. They’re so magnificent that they delight not only dressage aficionados, but also those who had previously not the remotest interest in the sport.
Charlotte elicits interest in an historically niche sport in the way that only outstanding sporting greatness can.
Last year, Andy Murray received 401,470 votes to win SPOTY. H&H has nearly 370,000 fans on Facebook alone, so if every one of them — plus the nigh-on 250,000 people whose hands the magazine passes through each week — votes for her, we should be able to make it happen this year.
As the industry’s voice, H&H will play its part; we’ll rally our troops in every way possible. And the BEF and all its member bodies are doing the same. Let’s ensure Charlotte is not only the first dressage rider to be nominated, but the first to win SPOTY.
How to vote
To vote online for free you’ll need a BBC iD. If you haven’t already done so, you need to register at www.bbc.co.uk/sport/0/sports-personality/
You can cast your vote for the BBC Sports Personality of the Year 2014 by phone or for free online.
Voting will open during the show, broadcast on BBC One, 5 Live and on the BBC Sport website, on Sunday 14 December. The show begins at 8pm.
Details of the phone numbers for each of the short-listed sportsmen and women will be released during the show.
Ref: H&H Thursday 10 December, 2014