Charlotte Dujardin added to her massive haul of medals by taking the gold in the individual grand prix special today at the Alltech FEI World Equestrian Games (WEG) in Normandy, France. She scored 86.12% with 12-year-old Valegro to set a new WEG record.
Germany filled the next two places, with Helen Langehanenberg and Damon Hill finishing in silver medal position and her team-mate Kristina Sprehe (Desperados) snatching the bronze from the Dutch rider Adelinde Cornelissen, who finished an agonising 0.43% adrift of the medals.
Charlotte’s ride was not without mistakes: Valegro tried to stop for a toilet break coming into the first piaffe, then he missed the final change in the two-times.
“I know there were mistakes, but that was still one of the best rides I’ve ever had on him,” Charlotte said through a beaming smile.
“I was actually going for the world record [which she already holds at 88.022%] and I think I might have done it without those mistakes.
“I decided to let rip out there and he feels like a Ferrari when you put your foot down. I just had to put the mistakes behind me and move on and try to ride the next movements even better.”
On Friday she will have the chance to make dressage history by becoming the first rider to ever hold all the individual titles from the three biggest championships shows concurrently.
Carl coaxed another masterful performance out of Nip Tuck in the horse’s third ever international grand prix special to score more than 75% for the first time.
“His changes used to be tiny – they used to be the smallest, tightest little rabbit changes,” he said, “but now they’re huge and straight and they were one of the highlights of the test.”
Nip Tuck doesn’t have his own freestyle compilation, so Carl is using his own music, originally made for Uthopia.
Tomorrow is a rest day for dressage and the freestyle — the decider for the second and final set of individual medals — starts at lunchtime on Friday, 29 August.
WEG individual grand prix special dressage results
GOLD: Charlotte Dujardin on Valegro GBR 86.12%
SILVER: Helen Langehanenberg on Damon Hill NRW GER 84.468%
BRONZE: Kristina Sprehe on Desperados FRH GER 79.762%
4. Adelinde Cornelissen on Jerich Parzival NOP NED 79.328%
5. Tinne Vilhelmson Silfvén on Don Aurielllo SWE 78.235%
6. Victoria Max-Theurer on Augustin OLD AUS 77.857%
7. Anna Kasprzak on Donnperignon DEN 77.269%
8. Laura Graves on Verdades USA 77.157%
9. Diederik van Silfhout on Arlando NH NOP NED 75.924%
10. Steffen Peters on Legolas 92 USA 75.742%
12. Carl Hester on Nip Tuck GBR 75.532%
13. Michael Eilberg on Half Moon Delphi GBR 75.462%
Watch today’s video interviews
H&H caught up with Carl Hester after a great performance in the grand prix special with his inexperienced ride
H&H's dressage editor caught up with Michael Eilberg after his grand prix special
H&H caught up with US rider Laura Graves, who has made a meteoric rise through the ranks after riding her
H&H caught up with Nathalie zu Sayn Wittgenstein after her grand prix special with Digby