Charlotte Dujardin set to defend national winter titles this week

Charlotte Dujardin will be heading to Hartpury this week for the NAF Five Star Winter Dressage Championships, to defend her titles from 2018.

She was aiming to become prix st georges winter champion for the second year in row, having entered the eight-year-old Vivaldi x Donnerhall mare Mount St John VIP to defend the title she won with River Rise Escarla in 2018. Charlotte and VIP were also expected to contend the inter I winter championship, a title Charlotte has never yet won, however the mare has now been withdrawn from both classes.

The talented VIP, who is owned by Emma Blundell, has moved through the ranks at impressive speed, having taken the elementary title at the winter championships just two years ago, in 2017. She secured the advanced medium gold title at the summer nationals in 2018, and is so far unbeaten at small tour, scoring 77.42% on her latest inter I outing at the Keysoe CDI in March.

Charlotte will have the opportunity to defend the novice gold title she won with Hawtins San Floriana in 2018. This year she will showcase the Charmeur x Danone I five-year-old MSJ Charmer, whom she bought from the Mount St John Stud as a foal and now owns with Verity Jenner.

The championships will be just the second time Charlotte has ridden him in competition — the gelding was competed in 2018 by Rob Barker, who rode him in four-year-old classes and qualified him for the regionals, where Charlotte took the reins.

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Charlotte will also be at Hartpury as an owner, with her six-year-old mare River Rise Isabella in action at elementary gold under Rob Barker, and the 10-year-old pony Cruz III contesting the advanced medium gold with Jayne Turney.

For more about the championships, including starting lists, results and ticket information visit the championships’ website.

*UPDATED lunchtime Wednesday 3 April: to reflect the late withdrawal of Mount St John VIP*

Horse & Hound will have three reporters on the ground at Hartpury; don’t miss the 11 April issue for 12 pages of reports from the NAF Five Star Winter Dressage Championships and the Petplan Equine Area Festival Championships, and keep up to date with action as it happens here on HorseandHound.co.uk