Charlotte Dujardin and Valegro nail new freestyle to become World Cup champions

  • Charlotte Dujardin and Valegro won the Reem Acra FEI World Cup Dressage Final this afternoon in Lyon.

    Not only was it Charlotte’s 1st World Cup final, she was also riding her new freestyle for the first time, to music from the animated film How to Train Your Dragon. But the British pair never faltered to score 92.179%. They finished nearly 5% of their nearest rivals.

    “The music’s so great — I literally felt like we danced our way round,” said Charlotte. “I was so emotional at the end, he gives me so much and that’s all you can ask.”

    Charlotte’s new routine had a higher degree of difficulty than her previous one, including a piaffe pirouette at the end with a change of direction. Although her score was 1.796% below her world record this time, that might change in the future.

    Her mentor Carl Hester said: “I think that routine could become a new world record — it’s more difficult than the one with which she set the record and he didn’t make a mistake.”

    Charlotte agreed: “The more confident I get with the music, hopefully it can only get better. I love that music and love riding to it.”

    The order of the top 3 was unchanged from yesterday’s grand prix. Helen Langehanenberg and Damon Hill NRW, winners of the title last year for Germany, settled for 2nd this time on 87.339%.

    “I’m not disappointed — I love Damie and for me he’s the best,” she said. “It’s a pity we had a couple of mistakes, but they wouldn’t have changed the result.”

    The Netherlands’ Edward Gal and Glock’s Undercover notched up 83.696% in 3rd, with the horse looking more relaxed than yesterday.

    Sweden’s Tinne Vilhelmson Silfven was the other rider to break the 80% barrier, scoring 80.946% on Don Auriello to take 4th.

    Full report of the FEI World Cup finals in H&H this week, out Thursday, 24 April.

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