Britain’s Charlotte Dujardin and her own, Renai Hart and Carl Hester’s 10-year-old Apache gelding, Gio, gave it everything they had in the European Dressage Championships freestyle in Hagen, Germany this afternoon (11 September).
The pair scored 87.246% to secure a bronze medal against an incredibly competitive field.
“I’m delighted with him – he tried his heart out and I couldn’t have asked much more,” Charlotte said after her test. “I made a mistake in the second set of one-time tempi-changes, which was a bit of a rider error – I waited for the music and then I was like ‘oh no, I’m not ready’ and then I went and got in a bit of a muddle.”
This mistake arguably cost Charlotte and Gio the silver medal, which was ultimately secured by Denmark’s Cathrine Dufour and Bohemian on 88.43%, which was 1.19% ahead of the bronze in the European Dressage Championships freestyle.
“But apart from that, it was just super, so I’m absolutely thrilled,” Charlotte continued. “He’s only done that freestyle floorplan once before at the Olympics, where it went so well, and we were so nearly there. But things happen and he’s such an inexperienced horse – the crowd were clapping when I went in and he just upped his game and was ready for it, so I’m thrilled.”
Charlotte explained that she saved Gio slightly throughout this week but upped the ante today.
“I haven’t pushed him that hard all week as I thought I’d save him, but we were really trying for everything today.”
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