Having successfully defended her World Cup title in April, Charlotte Dujardin and her outstanding ride Valegro were again unbeatable in all three grand prix tests. However, the Dutch duo of Edward Gal and Glock’s Undercover came pretty close to the British pairing in the grand prix.
Then, after Totilas as ruled out of the competition through lameness — and subsequently retired from sport — Charlotte and Valegro once again left the door open through mistakes in the one-time changes. Germany’s Kristina Bröring-Sprehe and Desperados came within 0.3% of the combination, making for a thrilling culmination to the championships.
The world number ones Charlotte and Valegro remain the world record holders in all three grand prix tests and British dressage continues to enjoy a successful period on the international stage.
On the home front, winter champion Becky Moody has carried her form through the year, winning the intermediate I freestyle at the British Dressage national championships — beating Woodlander Farouche in the process. Julie Lockey’s impressive Painted Black son Carinsio finally broke through the 80% barrier to win the Mount St John inter I freestyle at the Horse of the Year Show shortly afterwards.
Despite being beaten by Becky at the nationals, Michael Eilberg has had a charmed season with Farouche, being beaten only the once in her past 10 starts. The 2016 Rio Olympics may come a shade too early for her, but British dressage fans should be proud to have this phenomenal talent in the national stable regardless of when she blossoms.