Charlotte Dujardin showcased her incredible depth of current horsepower at the British Dressage national championships at Stoneleigh Park last week (14-27 September), winning 10 titles with the 10 horses she competed.
While Hawtins Delicato, Mount St John Freestyle and Mount St John VIP — all of which remained unbeaten across the four days — are her more familiar top rides, we take a closer look at some of Charlotte’s lesser known stars of the future.
This eight-year-old brown gelding, by Jazz, is Charlotte’s own and she revealed he was “wild as sin” when she first bought him from Sandra Biddlecombe as a project.
“He snorted like a wild thing and you couldn’t catch him in the stable,” she said. “Most people would have shot him!”
Competing at the buzzy, atmospheric nationals was a big ask for the horse, but he held it together and showed off his immense talent to finish second behind Mount St John Freestyle in both the inter I and the prix st georges championships.
Mount St John Kom Fairytale
This fiery chestnut mare, by Furst Heinrich x Weltmeyer, only had four results on her record before the nationals – one being a plus-81% advanced medium win at the Midway Championships in May.
The 11-year-old came over from Germany 18 months ago and is “sharp as razorblades” according to Charlotte, who rode to inter I third at Stoneleigh.
Charlotte describes this bouncy little chestnut gelding — known as Pumpkin at home — as like a “Duracell bunny”, as he never seems to run out of energy. He took the elementary gold title here, and looks a dead cert for grand prix in the future.
The Apache x Tango son caught the Olympic gold medallist’s eye while she was teaching in the US, and she brought him home despite Carl Hester advising he was too small at just 16hh.
“‘Grandad’ had to eat his words here,” said Charlotte. “Pumpkin is one of those horses who puts a smile on your face every day.”
The surprise winner of the advanced medium championship was Carl Hester’s Zucchero son, Ekitof, who pipped Charlotte’s own Florentina VI to the title despite having only previously done three tests in his life.
‘Blackie’ went from zero to hero at this show, having napped badly in the warm-up and demolished the white boards in the arena walk.
Although he isn’t Charlotte’s favourite ride, Carl adores him and will soon be taking over the ride.
River Rise Nisa
Sarah Tyler-Evans’ bay mare was the bridesmaid of the championships, coming second to other rides of Charlotte’s in both the elementary and medium gold championships. But she should not be underestimated, with scores of 74% and 76%, aged just six. She also shares the same sire, Negro, with Valegro.
Hawtins San Floriana
This tall, wonderfully elegant mare claimed the Shearwater four-year-old title in 2016, under Bryony Goodwin, and she returned this year to take the five-year-old equivalent. Charlotte thinks so much of the San Amour x Florestan daughter that she “pestered and pestered” her breeder Judith Davis to sell her after she first spotted her last year.
“I’m so excited for her – she’s so talented,” enthused Charlotte.
For the full report from the BD national dressage championships, don’t miss the next issue of Horse & Hound magazine, out on Thursday 21 September