‘I’m absolutely delighted and I can’t ask for much more’: Charlotte Dujardin and Gio give it their all in European Dressage grand prix special

  • Britain’s Charlotte Dujardin and the small but mighty Gio left nothing in the arena during their grand prix special test at the European Dressage Championships in Hagen, Germany this evening (9 September).

    Riding her own, Renai Hart and Carl Hester’s 10-year-old Apache gelding, known as ‘Pumpkin’ at home, Charlotte scored 79.78%, which ultimately left them just shy of a podium finish in fourth.

    “I’m absolutely over the moon with Pumpkin – I think I nearly pretty much had a clear round in there,” Charlotte said afterwards. “That’s only the third grand prix special he has done, so I’m just absolutely delighted and I can’t ask for much more – he’s still a young, inexperienced horse.”

    Charlotte and Gio had no real mistakes, pulling in the biggest marks for the bouncy passage, huge reaching half-passes and super pirouettes. They were 1.12% shy of a bronze medal – that went to Denmark’s Cathrine Dufour and Bohemian, who were fourth behind Charlotte in Tokyo.

    “I think with time, Pumpkin’s movement will get bigger and he does just need more time to strengthen up,” Charlotte explained. “He’s got better and better at every show, so that’s all I can ask for, and like I say, he went in, tried and did his best and that’s enough for me.”

    There was a real atmosphere in the arena this evening at the European Dressage Championships, with most tests being performed under floodlights and in front of a sell-out crowd.

    “Pumpkin’s just brilliant – he’s done hardly any shows under floodlights, and then there were all of the spectators, with plenty watching the warm-up too, so I’m really, really happy,” Charlotte said.

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