The 12-year-old Fidermark daughter, Charlotte’s double bronze medal-winning ride at the 2018 World Equestrian Games, was widely expected to be Charlotte’s choice for the Tokyo Olympics this summer. Instead, Charlotte was selected on 10-year-old Gio – with whom she won team and individual bronze medals – after a fitness issue with Freestyle ahead of the Games.
At the time, Emma Blundell, who owns Freestyle along with her mother Jill and Carl Hester, said that the mare had not “maintained sufficient fitness to cope with the long travel and extreme climate”.
But Charlotte has confirmed to H&H that Freestyle is now well.
“Freestyle is at home in my stables and she’s really good. Hopefully I will do the World Cup series with her next year,” Charlotte said.
The mare has not competed since Wellington CDI in the UK in May, where she won the grand prix freestyle with over 88% and was second behind Gio in the grand prix. Charlotte also rode Gio at the European Dressage Championships earlier this month, winning team silver and individual bronze.
Charlotte Dujardin and Mount St John Freestyle, who are currently ranked fourth in the world as a combination, had great success on the World Cup circuit in 2019/2020, winning at Olympia in December 2019, and finishing second behind Isabell Werth at both the Lyon and Amsterdam qualifiers. They were due to contest the World Cup Final – which would have been Charlotte’s first since her back to back wins with Valegro in 2014 and 2015 – but the final was cancelled in 2020 owing to the coronavirus pandemic, and again in 2021 because of the spread of EHV in Europe.
The 2021/2022 World Cup dressage season will kick off with the first qualifier in Herning, Denmark, in late October, and will incorporate the London leg in December that was previously hosted at Olympia and will take place at the ExCeL centre this year. There have been two changes to the calendar so far, with the qualifiers in Stuttgart, Germany, and Salzburg, Austria, cancelled. The 2022 World Cup Final is scheduled to take place in Leipzig, Germany on 6-10 April next year.
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