The Olympic gold medallist took top honours aboard the stunning grey Florentina VI on a score of 74.25%, piloting En-Vogue to second with 72.15%.
Charlotte was full of praise for both horses.
“Florentina isn’t fussed by anything — she just loves to perform,” she said.
“Any question you give her she answers.
“I put quite a lot of pressure on myself and I didn’t think I rode that test as well as I could. I felt I actually played a bit safe.”
She added earning the trust of a horse as she has with this pair is “the best feeling”.
“En-Vogue is very genuine, but he is scared of his own shadow,” she said.
Multiple pony European medallist Rebecca Bell and Nibeley Union Hit were the medium freestyle gold winners with a score of 74.22%.
Her soundtrack featured music by Two Steps To Hell and Rebecca explained she put it together herself using a laptop and a free app.
Article continues below…
You might also be interested in:
Sophie Wells won her second gala in as…
Myles Graham is a young star with big…
“She has come a long way,” said Rebecca, wiping slober from an affectionate Nibeley Union Hit from her jacket lapel.
“I had a soundtrack already that had been beautifully composed for my ponies, but with her moving up through the levels and changing all the time I needed to do it myself so I can chop and change.”
Meanwhile 20-year-old Emily Hedger and Cadalma were victorious in the closely-fought medium silver Area Festival final.
“I really just wanted to come out and do a calm test — chilled and relaxed,” said Emily, adding she would have been pleased with a top-10 finished.
Taking top honours in the prelim silver Winter Championship was Exclusive Gem, ridden by Maria Collins.
The combination scored 73.1% to win the competitive class, where all of the top seven broke the 70% barrier.
Maria said the eight-year-old gelding went “a bit into himself”, but responded well to pull the victory out of the bag.
“You don’t really notice [the atmosphere] around you until you finish — I was so focused,” she added.
This was the first major competition for the combination and Exclusive Gem looked to relish the attention in the prize giving.
In second place on a score of 71.49% was Jane Boothroyd’s homebred mare Private Dancer V, ridden by Lucy Robinson.
“You want the best people you know to ride your horses,” said an emotional Jane, who rode the mare’s dam to third place in a novice championships here 15 years ago.
Tabla Brooks and Springwind Catwalk were victorious in the novice bronze Area Festival final on a score of 72.04%.
Don’t miss this week’s issue of Horse & Hound for a full report from the Winter Dressage Championships and Area Festival final.