Charlotte Dujardin topped a gripping freestyle to take her second Royal Windsor Horse Show CDI4* title of the week aboard Mount St John Freestyle.
The pair performed a powerful routine to music from How To Train Your Dragon, originally arranged for Valegro, to win on a score of 81.21%, by a margin of almost five percent. Charlotte and the Fidermark mare, owned by Emma Blundell, also won last night’s grand prix.
British riders dominated the top end of the score board, taking the first five places.
Carl Hester and the 10-year-old Hawtins Delicato put in a smooth performance to music previously used for Uthopia, finishing runner-up to Charlotte for the second time in two days.
Charlotte told packed stands afterwards that she was kicking herself for a mistake towards the end of the test.
“I’m absolutely over the moon with her, she is only nine years old and this is only her second ever grand prix freestyle,” said Charlotte.
“I love the music — but I am furious with myself, I tried to do a piaffe pirouette, I thought ‘why not, give it a go’, but she walked, which was my fault.
“It was a real sack the rider and pat the horse moment!
“There’s so much more to come from her, she hasn’t got the experience yet and hasn’t had that many runs, so everything is going to get better.
“She has the most amazing temperament and trainability — I’m so excited about her.”
Carl added he was delighted with Hawtins Delicato, for whom this was his first taste of a big atmosphere.
“He was better to ride with the music than he was in the grand prix last night,” said Carl.
“He felt more steady and more safe, but we are still having mistakes, we had some in the one-time changes on both reins.
“The main thing is having a confident horse, he is very hot and wired for noise. He is quite a challenge and I don’t want to overwork him to be able to do a test, I want him to relax in it and enjoy it — I’m just working on being able to ride him more forward with relaxation, so I’m really happy.”
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Third-placed Gareth Hughes and Don Carissimo, owned by Steve and Anne Keen, debuted their new music in front of the Windsor crowds.
The combination performed a confident routine to music by Avicii, Kygo, Klingande and from The Greatest Showman soundtrack, to finish on a score of 73.87%.
Richard Davison on Bubblingh’s Gangsters Paradise-inspired performance was rewarded with a score of 73.29%, with Hayley Watson-Greaves and Rubins Nite rounding off the British quintet in fifth on 73.12.
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This week’s edition (10 May) features our full report from Badminton, including in-depth analysis, expert comment, pictures and more. Plus, read our feature on the options for retiring your horse and in this week’s vet clinic we look into the challenges of equine surgery