‘It feels a bit surreal to be competing him’: Charlotte Dujardin showcases future star

Spectators at the Addington Equestrian winter regionals had a treat on Saturday (2 February), when Olympic champion Charlotte Dujardin piloted one of her future stars for the first time in competition.

The rising five-year-old gelding MSJ Charmer is owned by Charlotte, along with Verity Jenner, but has been competed up until now by Rob Barker, who rode him in four-year-old classes and qualified him for the regionals.

The son of the Florencio stallion Charmeur and out of the Danone I x Royal Diamond mare Dorina, Charmer was bred by Emma Blundell at the Mount St John Stud, and bought by Charlotte as a foal. He never scored under 70% in his first season of competition last year, and he maintained that record at Addington, posting 76.35% to win the Blue Chip novice gold with Charlotte.

He was the first foal I bought from Emma, so it feels a bit surreal to be out competing him,” Charlotte told H&H. “I really had no idea what he’d be like [in the ring]; he had an easy season last year with Rob, mainly doing young horse classes.

“I’ve had him at home now for three weeks and although he’s still a bit wobbly in the arena, he’s a super horse and I’m really excited about him.”

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The powerful 16.2hh bay gelding, who is known at home as Cookie, has now booked his place at this year’s British Dressage Winter Championships, held at Hartpury in April.

“At the moment he doesn’t really know where to put himself and I was unsure how much I could ask of him, but he will be a different horse by April,” said Charlotte, who also won the novice gold winter national title in 2018 riding Hawtins San Floriana.

For the full report from Thursday, Saturday and Sunday’s classes at the Addington regionals, don’t miss this week’s issue of Horse & Hound, out on Thursday, 7 February.

Additional reporting by Helen Triggs