Winter Dressage Championships day four: one-two for Dujardin

Dressage videos 28 Videos Amy Woodhead: how to ride a canter half pass to wow the judges 02:58 Amy Woodhead: how working for Carl Hester has set her up for success 06:14 Watch Carl Hester at home: 'I can't wait to get out of bed and train horses towards grand prix' 02:31 Tales from Hartpury: the nine-year-old rising star with an Olympic dream 02:35 Winter Dressage Championships day four: one-two for Dujardin 03:43 Sophie Wells' rising star impresses on prix st georges gala night 01:22 Winter Dressage Championships day three: former runaway horse shows what she's made of for championship first-timer 03:30 Tales from Hartpury: the event horse making waves in her new career 01:56 Tales from Hartpury: Five horses and 13 tests — but did this rider remember where to go? 01:04 Tales from Hartpury: the horse with a rare skin condition that travelled in first gear for six miles 02:02 Winter Dressage Championships day two: Dujardin wants her rising star's foal for Easter 03:35 Tales from Hartpury: meet the family pony rubbing shoulders with dressage's big guns 01:08 Winter Dressage Championships day one: a shock victory and a horse defies the odds to do a double 04:43 H&H dressage editor’s Area Festival video diary: Disbelieving the results of my small and fairly average horse 05:03 Watch Charlotte Dujardin and Valegro's European freestyle dressage test 07:13 Watch Charlotte Dujardin and Valegro wow the crowds at Hartpury 09:37 What is 'breath energy' and could it help your riding? 03:48 Watch Charlotte Dujardin riding Valegro's freestyle on a catch ride 06:38 Ruth Edge: How to ride the perfect 10m circle 01:18 Exclusive: watch Valegro work out on a water treadmill 02:46 'Squat to exhaustion': meet Alice Oppenheimer 02:43 Carl Hester and Charlotte Dujardin: A bit of banter 03:15 Maria Eilberg: How to improve your horse's walk 02:03 Maria Eilberg: how to improve your horse’s trot 01:21 Michael Eilberg: How to ride a square halt 03:35 Michael Eilberg: introducing collection in canter 05:01 Michael Eilberg: teaching your horse to rein back 05:03 Watch Farouche's winning test at the BD nationals 05:44

Charlotte Dujardin was on flying form with a one-two on day four of the NAF Five Star Winter Dressage Championships.

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.

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“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.