‘I only wanted to school her round’: Charlotte Dujardin wins with ‘green’ mare, while 12-year-old fan also claims a title

  • Charlotte Dujardin claimed her second title of the NAF Five Star Winter Dressage Championships, and her first of the week riding the 2021 novice and elementary winter champion Times Kismet. Charlotte and Peter Belshaw’s seven-year-old Ampere mare headed the Equitex advanced medium gold with 75.7%.

    “I felt a bit emotional coming out,” admitted Charlotte. “She is still green and a lot of people came forward on the long sides to watch and it is quite hard for them with the people above. She was wild at the regionals – leaping puddles with mistakes everywhere – and I haven’t done a show since, but for her to come in and do the test she did – I’m very happy.”

    Kismet produced a very smart test in what turned out to be a hot class, with Becky Moody finishing second on 72.15% with Jack Diamond.

    “The changes are still a but green and swingy, but she is just phenomenal and has so much ability,” said Charlotte of Kismet. “She hasn’t done a great deal of shows so coming here has been great for her to see everything. I only wanted to school her round and I said I would do this more for training purposes; I genuinely didn’t know how she would be. She is only seven after all, doing advanced medium. Grand prix is definitely the hope for the future and she shows everything to be able to do it.

    This was Charlotte’s second class, and second win of the championships, having already won the Prestige Italia novice gold with 77.53% on Times Mon Amour.

    Meanwhile, a young fan of Charlotte Dujardin, 12-year-old Violet Hawkins, also won at the Winter Dressage Championships, staying ahead of her older rivals to win the KBIS prelim silver title. After an early start as second to go, riding her test at 7.57am, Violet hung on the top spot with DZL Royal Sunrise, having posted 71.38%.

    Violet Hawkins at the Winter Dressage Championships

    Violet Hawkins in action aboard DZL Royal Sunrise at the Winter Dressage Championships 2022

    “We got up quite early for the arena walk at 6.30am and in the arena walk he was quite spicy. But in the arena he took it all in his stride and it was probably one of the best tests he’s ever done,” said Year 7 pupil Violet, who trains with Jayne Turney. “We’ve been working o. getting him going forwards more and sometimes he can sit behind my leg. He was really nice and forward in the test, I was really proud of him.”

    Violet’s idols are Charlotte Dujardin as well as Jayne and she is hoping to make dressage her career, with her sights set on competing at the pony European Championships. Her talents don’t stop at dressage, however – she made it down to the last two in auditions for Matilda in the West End in March 2020, until production was curbed due to Covid.

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