Charlotte Dujardin gives mounted police impromptu dressage lesson at Olympia

  • Riders in the Metropolitan Police display team had a surprise dressage lesson with Charlotte Dujardin in the warm-up arena at Olympia, the London International Horse Show.

    The Olympic champion was warming up Hawtins Delicato in preparation for a dressage masterclass on Wednesday (13 December), as the officers were also preparing for their display.

    And Charlotte ended up giving the team an impromptu lesson, caught on camera by a British Dressage representative who said: “It was brilliant!”

    “We were warming up at 6pm on the Tuesday and as we were going round Charlotte joined on our back file and stayed with us for the warm-up,” said Inspector Simon Rooke, who is leading the eight-strong display team.

    “On Wednesday she took the warm-up for us and we all started following her. Once we’d built up to the canter she started giving us a lesson in flying changes,” he added, admitting it was quite a challenge for his horse Lockhearn.

    The display team is back at Olympia this year for the first time since 2014.

    Crowds gave the mounted police a standing ovation on both dressage days (12 and 13 December) a first for the officers taking part.

    And yesterday, Mr Rooke said, the applause was deafening as he jumped through a paper hoop holding a Willberry Wonder Pony.

    “The crowd went wild when I held up the Willberry pony so I am going to have him in every performance now,” said Mr Rooke.

    Police riders spend two weeks training and preparing for the seven-minute Olympia performance, during which they jump through flaming hoops and remove their saddles while mounted, at their training establishment, Imber Court.

    “For us the ride showcases the trust between officer and horse,” said Mr Rooke.

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    The police horses have a day off on 19 December after the show finishes and will then return to duty on the streets of London.

    For a full report from Olympia, see next week’s Horse & Hound, out 21 December.

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