‘Glimpses of Valegro’: Charlotte Dujardin’s aim for 2018 WEG

  • Charlotte Dujardin can see “glimpses of Valegro” in her up-and-coming ride Mount St John Freestyle, who she is aiming at next year’s World Equestrian Games.

    Charlotte rode the eight-year-old by Fidermark in a demonstration at Olympia, the London International Horse Show last night (12 December).

    After the masterclass, Charlotte spoke about the mare.

    “I’m so excited about her,” she said. “She’s very special.

    “I’ve been riding her since she was five and she’s come on beyond belief, she’s got a heart of gold.

    “I have to say she gives me glimpses of Valegro in the arena; she’s incredibly brave, not afraid of anything, and loves performing. For me that’s such a spectacular feeling.”

    Charlotte said she was “quite upset” not to be competing at Olympia this year, so was delighted to be asked to give the demo.

    “I love riding here,” she said. “[In a demonstration] I still feel I have to go out there and perform; I still want to do a good job.

    “I’ve never put [Freestyle] in an atmosphere and environment like that before so I wasn’t sure how she was going to be, but she felt absolutely incredible. [There are] moments of riding where you feel a bit emotional because she has the talent where she just gives and gives and gives.”

    Charlotte said time had “flown” since her Olympic superstar Valegro’s (“Blueberry”) retirement at Olympia 2016.

    “Blueberry’s fantastic,” she added. “He’s at home, I jumped him on Friday, he’s having the time of his life. We’re hacking, going round the fields, he’s just enjoying life – and he can eat what he wants, lucky him!”

    Charlotte finished by saying she is “really excited” by the thought of next year.

    “I’m aiming Mount St John Freestyle at the grand prix at the World Equestrian Games,” she said. “That’s my hope. She’ll only be nine so we’ll have to see how it goes, but that’s the goal.

    “I’ve got some other up-and-coming horses, and [Hawtins] Delicato – we’re obviously hoping Carl’s [Hester] going to ride him and be another team member.”

    For all the news from Olympia, see next week’s Horse & Hound magazine, out 21 December.

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