Charlotte Dujardin: why cross-country terrifies me and hard work matters

  • Dressage star Charlotte Dujardin has explained why she could never event and the importance of hard work for achieving your dreams.

    The record-breaking rider spoke candidly in an interview on BBC Radio 4’s Woman’s Hour this morning (23 March).

    Presenter Jane Garvey quizzed Charlotte on why she chose dressage over the other Olympic disciplines.

    “With eventing there is so much to think about. You have the dressage, showjumping and cross-country, which I actually find terrifying,” Charlotte said. “There’s no way you would get me jumping over those jumps.

    “I can jump height but it’s the drops [which daunt me]. Sometimes when horses jump they can’t see over the fence or don’t know how deep water is. The amount of trust that takes is beyond me, I certainly wouldn’t be able to do that.”

    Charlotte also spoke of her childhood with horses and how hard work and dedication got her to where she is today.

    “It was really important for me to write my book to share what has gone on and how much hard work [I have put in] and the fact that I have come from a normal background,” she said.

    “I’ve had to work really hard to achieve my goals, it’s not having a privileged childhood, it’s all about hard work.”

    She said having a trusting partnership with your horse is essential to success.

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    “The horse is like a partner,” Charlotte said. “You have this incredible relationship and you build so much trust. For me when I was riding Valegro I felt like he had given me absolutely everything he had.”

    Jane acknowledged Valegro’s beauty and Charlotte agreed, adding that he has a face “like a seahorse”.

    “He is an incredible character, he loves eating but also training. He loves to work and to do his best. He gives you so much confidence.”

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