Charlotte Dujardin’s horses to watch at the National Dressage Championships this week – and other big names in action

  • Charlotte Dujardin, Carl Hester and Gareth Hughes are just three of the huge names who are set to compete at the National Dressage Championships this week (14-17 September).

    The nationals swiftly follow the European Dressage Championships, where Charlotte, Carl and Gareth, plus Lottie Fry, won team gold. But with other horses waiting at home for all of them, it’s next stop Somerford Park, Cheshire, for the National Dressage Championships.

    So who do we have to be excited about?

    Charlotte Dujardin will bring forward four rides in total, across the four days, competing at medium, prix st georges (PSG), inter I and inter II.

    Her highest level rides are Alive And Kicking, the nine-year-old All At Once mare known at home as Audrey, who won the inter II at Somerford Park Premier League earlier this year with over 77%, and Hawtins San Floriana, who’ll also be contesting the inter II. San Floriana, an 11-year-old by San Amour, was advanced medium runner-up at the National Dressage Championships in 2022, and has made rapid progress over the past 12 months, winning the inter II at Wellington Premier League this summer with over 76%.

    Charlotte will also ride the very exciting Times Kismet at PSG and inter I. The Ampere x Lord Leatherdale eight-year-old is one of the country’s top small tour horses, having made her overseas debut this summer in Aachen, attracting much attention for her high-scoring wins at both PSG and inter I. Charlotte has tipped Kismet, owned by Peter Belshaw, to be a future Olympic ride for her.

    “I’ve brought her up through the levels and I feel like I have that bond and partnership with her,” said Charlotte in Aachen. “We hold each other’s hand and that’s a magical feeling.”

    Charlotte’s final ride is Times Mon Amour. This six-year-old gelding is a previous young horse national champion, who also won the novice title at the Winter Dressage Championships in 2022. Like Charlotte’s other horses he has been competed sparingly over the past year, as Charlotte took time out to have her daughter Isabella, and also focused on preparing Imhotep for the European Dressage Championships this summer. At Somerford, Mon Amour, or Monet as he is known at home, will compete at medium.

    Carl Hester and En Vogue at Hartpury CDI 2023

    Meanwhile Carl Hester will take to the Somerford arena in Saturday’s showcase class, the grand prix, as he bids to win his 11th British national championship title. Carl will ride En Vogue, his Tokyo Olympic and 2021 European medallist, who was his reserve horse for this year’s Europeans behind Fame.

    Carl will be joined in the grand prix by other big names, including Annabella Pidgley riding Vamos Amigos, and Europeans team reserve Becky Moody with Jagerbomb. Others to watch include Abi Lyle on Giraldo, Emile Faurie on Bellevue, Andrew Gould with Genie I, Lara Butler with Kristjan, Michael Eilberg with Figlio and Lewis Carrier with Diego V.

    Gareth Hughes has just one the one horse competing at medium level this week, the six-year-old Mowgli-Olympia MC, who was previously competed lightly by Hughes Dressage rider Angharad Harries.

    When will Charlotte Dujardin ride at the National Dressage Championships?

    Charlotte Dujardin has four horses competing at the National Dressage Championships (14-17 September). This is when she will be in action:

    Fairfax Saddles PSG gold

    • Times Kismet – 17.06 on Thursday

    Stubben inter II gold

    • Alive And Kicking – 13.55 on Thursday
    • Hawtins San Floriana – 15.35 on Thursday

    Saracen Horse Feeds inter I gold

    • Times Kismet – 11.02 on Friday

    Topspec medium gold 

    • Times Mon Amour – 11.32 on Saturday

    Check out the full entries for all four days, and find out how you can follow all the action at this year’s National Dressage Championships.

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