World number one dressage rider, Charlotte Dujardin, honed her competitive instincts in the showring before turning her attention to dressage. So when we invited her to return to her roots by riding two successful show horses, she was only too happy to oblige.
The horses were Bronte, an 8-year-old large riding horse owned by Gabriella Atkinson and produced by Katie Jerram, and Harley Foxtrot, a 12-year-old working hunter owned by David Reid-Scott and ridden by Libby Cooke.
Watch the videos below to see how she got on, and don’t miss the full 4-page feature in Horse & Hound magazine (26 June, 2014 issue).
Katie Jerram describes Bronte as “the sweetest mare you could possibly have, you could put your child or your granny on her.” However she explains that the mare has some stiffness issues and tends to swing her quarters in on one rein, so was looking forward to seeing how Charlotte dealt with that.
Charlotte said: “[Bronte] was very nice to ride. [As a riding horse] she needs to be very uphill, very light, very forward. She was a real pleasure to ride. We did a little bit of leg yield, she is very well schooled and I had a great time riding her.”
Libby Cooke says Harley “makes me laugh every day. He loves attention and loves food”.
Charlotte said: “Harley was great — he was so much fun. I called him ‘perfect Harley’. He looked after me like a true gentleman. He’s got a lovely, lovely temperament and fantastic gears. It was brilliant to be able to go for a gallop and he came back so nicely.
“He was so much fun to jump, I got him deep a couple of times, but he was really careful and got himself out of trouble. It was nice to know he would help me out. He gave me such a great ride.”