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Charlotte Dujardin trades Tokyo Olympics for ‘amazing’ day galloping on the beach

Reigning Olympic champion Charlotte Dujardin made up for not being at the Tokyo Olympics this week as planned by taking a trip to ride on the beach in north Cornwall.

Along with her friend and fellow dressage rider Jayne Turney, Charlotte joined Devon-based Kirsty and Holly Kerslake for a gallop on Summerleaze beach near Bude at the weekend.

Charlotte rode Simon Kerslake’s Irish draught mare Frosty, while Jayne rode Danny, a coloured cob owned by Gemma Lunt, and Holly partnered her Connemara hunting pony River.

Charlotte Dujardin with Jayne Turney and Holly Kerslake on Summerleaze beach, Cornwall

“Amazing day yesterday at Summerleaze Beach in Bude with Kirsty, Holly and Simon Kerslake and Jayne Turney,” said Charlotte, who trains British international junior rider Holly. “So much fun and such lovely horses. Loved every minute!”

If it wasn’t for the coronavirus pandemic causing the postponement of this year’s Olympic Games to 2021, Charlotte would likely have been competing on the British team in Tokyo this week. The team medals, decided from the scores of the grand prix special, would have been awarded on Tuesday, with the freestyle taking place yesterday. The Olympic dressage is now scheduled to run from 24-28 July 2021.

Charlotte Dujardin and Holly Kerslake set off for a beach gallop

Charlotte has had the chance to get back in the arena following the lockdown, however. She and her double world bronze medallist, Emma Blundell’s 11-year-old Fidermark mare Mount St John Freestyle, took part in the Hickstead Rotterdam Grand Prix Challenge earlier in the summer, where spectator judging had them to win with 78.89%.

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Charlotte also rode in an unofficial grand prix competition at Hartpury in mid-July, where she scored a massive 85% riding her own and Renai Hart’s Gio, the nine-year-old Apache gelding she is likely to campaign alongside Freestyle for Olympic team selection in 2021.

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