Charlotte Dujardin will return to the arena with Mount St John Freestyle this week, in the pair’s first outing since their elimination at the European Championships in August.
Charlotte will ride Emma Blundell’s 10-year-old Fidermark mare in the World Cup qualifier at Lyon, France, which takes place on 31 October to 1 November. She will come up against triple European gold medallist Isabell Werth, who has opted to ride the 13-year-old Ehrenpreis gelding Emilio 107 — with whom she has won at Lyon CDIW for the past two years — as well as Isabell’s German teammate Jessica von Bredow-Werndl on Zaire-E.
Also posing a threat will be last year’s Olympia winners Frederic Wandres of Germany and the British-bred Duke Of Britain, the Netherlands’ Hans Peter Minderhoud on his team bronze medallist Glock’s Dream Boy NOP, his compatriot Emmelie Scholtens on Desperado NOP and Sweden’s Patrik Kittel riding Delaunay OLD.
Charlotte made the decision to campaign Freestyle on the World Cup circuit following her elimination in Rotterdam due to blood being found on the mare’s flank after their 81.91% grand prix test.
“I’m looking forward to it. Freestyle is brilliant competing indoors — it doesn’t matter what sort of atmosphere she’s in,” Charlotte told H&H at the time.
“I think this will be good for Freestyle. She’s old enough now, she can take it and she needs some more mileage.”
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Charlotte Dujardin changes her plans for Mount St John Freestyle after her elimination at the European Championships
This will be the first time Charlotte has seriously contested the World Cup series since she won back-to-back titles on Valegro, in Lyon in 2014 and Las Vegas in 2015. With the exception of one appearance at the Amsterdam leg on Uthopia in January 2016, the only World Cup qualifiers she has ridden since 2015 are at Olympia, on Uthopia in 2015, and Hawtins Delicato in 2018.
Charlotte currently plans to ride at Olympia in December and the Amsterdam leg in January, with the aim of qualifying for the World Cup final in Las Vegas next April.
The Lyon grand prix will take place on Thursday, 31 October, with the freestyle — and World Cup qualifier — on Friday, 1 November.
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