‘It’s the best feeling when you hear the crowd – I’ve missed it’: Charlotte Dujardin on her London freestyle win

  • Charlotte Dujardin described her win in the London Horse Show dressage freestyle, supported by Horse & Hound, as “the perfect Christmas present” as she rounded out an incredible year with Gio.

    The British rider was emotional as she spoke about riding in front of a full crowd again after some months of limited spectators due to Covid-19.

    “There’s nothing more exciting than going into an arena with a huge crowd behind you,” she said. “I’d forgotten what it’s actually like to hear that buzz. It’s the best feeling when you stop and hear the crowd – I’ve missed it so much.

    “Gio has never experienced anything like that, never been in that sort of environment with those vibes. So I can’t tell you how proud I am of him. He’s done amazing this year, his first Olympics, his first Europeans, and then to finish the year like this. He’s come on so quickly.

    “You can’t make those atmospheres [to practice in] and he definitely proved what sort of horse he is because he took it on like a real showman.”

    Charlotte said she was “over the moon” with Gio’s test.

    “There was one little blip in my changes, but that’s probably more me than him. I’m absolutely thrilled,” she said after her win in the London Horse Show dressage freestyle on Sarah Pidgley’s 10-year-old chestnut.

    “I can’t ask for any more from him because he’s achieved a lot. I’m so proud of my horse and my team, I wouldn’t have been able to do it without everyone behind me. Alan [Davies], my groom, he’s just the best.”

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