Charlotte Dujardin rode her own and Renai Hart’s Gio to an incredible grand prix debut at Addington High Profile Show this weekend (10-12 January).
The Apache x Tango gelding produced a brilliant, fluent test under Charlotte, earning a huge 79.57% from the judges to take the top spot with a 6% margin.
Gio, known as Pumpkin at home, is only rising nine, but already establishing himself as a very strong second string ride for Charlotte this year.
“I’m extremely proud of him. He’s technically only eight, but he was definitely ready to give it [grand prix] a go,” Charlotte told H&H. “With most horses his age you have to hold their hand, but he felt so easy — I didn’t even go full power.”
Pumpkin is the reigning inter II national champion, but only competed twice in 2019: once at the Hartpury Premier League, then again at the nationals. He has also won the elementary title at the national championships, less than two years ago.
“I felt quite emotional,” added Charlotte, who spotted Pumpkin in the USA while giving a clinic in late 2016, and fell in love with him straight away. “He didn’t do small tour; I always knew he’d be a grand prix horse so I saved him and trained him for grand prix. I feel so excited for him as my second string horse.”
The Addington High Profile show has already proved to be an auspicous one for Charlotte when it comes to showcasing upcoming talent — Valegro did his first ever grand prix here in 2011, scoring 74.62% — 5% less than Pumpkin.
For the full report from Addington High Profile Show, don’t miss this week’s issue of H&H, on sale Thursday 16 January.
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