Charlotte Dujardin completed a hat-trick of personal bests today at the Equerry Bolesworth International Horse Show (13 June). At just her third international show with Sonnar Murray-Brown’s Erlentanz, she pulled out a fabulous winning freestyle to score a huge 84.1% — Charlotte’s highest score on any horse since Valegro.
Both ‘Erly’s’ canter pirouettes received 10s from Peter Storr, judging at B, as well as his one-time changes, and his scoresheet was littered with nines.
“Erly is so much fun to ride and he is getting much braver in the arena,” said Charlotte of the 12-year-old Latimer gelding. “It gives you such a buzz as a rider to know that they have done absolutely everything they can for you.”
Taking second in the freestyle was Richard Davison, who achieved the highest mark of his career — 78.79% — with Bubblingh.
Charlotte and Mount St John Freestyle also followed up their 80.35% grand prix with victory in the special, scoring an impressive 82.98%.
Emma and Jill Blundell’s Fidermark mare, who is still just 10 years old, received eight 10s across the test, for her halts, passage, second canter pirouette and Charlotte’s riding.
The last time Charlotte rode the grand prix special was when winning individual bronze at the World Equestrian Games in Tryon in September, and she revealed that she watched the video of that test before getting on today.
“Yesterday in the grand prix I was disappointed with myself as a rider, but today I came out much more relaxed,” Charlotte told H&H. “She felt fantastic. I didn’t go full power and there’s still more there because she is so elastic and has so much ability through her shoulders and her hind end; she feels like a rubber ball, bouncing.”
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Carl Hester had a much better ride on Hawtins Delicato than in yesterday’s grand prix, finishing second behind Charlotte with a 78.94% personal best.
“Today everything came together and the score was where I wanted it to be; he felt so much better than yesterday,” said Carl, who has already competed the Diamond Hit 11-year-old several times this season in order to help him feel more comfortable in the arena. “I’m pleased my plan has paid off.”
Gareth Hughes produced another super test on Classic Briolinca to fill third in the grand prix special.
Don’t miss the 20 June issue of H&H for the full report from Bolesworth.