Photo: Steve Parsons/PA Wire/PA Images
With the Liverpool International Horse Show just days away we caught up with Charlotte Dujardin, who is competing there for the first time.
What are your plans at Liverpool?
This year will be the first time I have competed at Liverpool International and I will be bringing the talented eight-year-old En Vogue.
It’s fantastic that the show has introduced dressage this year, with the new Equitop Myoplast Inter 1 Freestyle class, which takes place on the Friday evening performance (29 December).
Carl Hester is also competing, should we expect some friendly rivalry?
Of course, that goes without saying! We are massively supportive of each other, but when battling it out in the arena, it’s everyone for themselves. Carl will be bringing Hawtins Delicato who is another huge talent, so there is everything to play for and we can guarantee some great dressage on our 2020 Olympic hopefuls.
Can you tell us more about En Vogue?
En Vogue is competing at Inter 1 level and is a real star for the future. He can be hot and it has been a challenging journey so far, but getting him out to major competitions is really helping him to grow in confidence and he is just getting better and better. I am really looking forward to experiencing this amazing show with him.
Do you have any secrets for success?
There are certainly no shortcuts and it really comes down to determination, hard work, some luck along the way and never giving up on your dreams when it comes to achieving your goals.
How achievable is it for ambitious young riders today?
Both Carl and I have achieved our success through hard work and are always striving to increase our knowledge. Neither of us were handed it on a plate, but we have certainly made the most of the opportunities. So I would encourage young riders to dream big and aim for the top and surround yourself with good trainers. You never stop learning.
What do you think your relationship with Valegro has done for the world of dressage?
Without doubt dressage is on a whole new level and is recognised by so many more people outside the sport – more than it ever has been. The term ‘dancing horses’ came to the fore after London 2012 and to a certain extent helped promote the sport and make it more understandable for the public.
If there is ever a spare moment, what do you enjoy doing to relax?
Everyone in the team is so busy, but we try and plan in short breaks when we can to recharge the batteries. I do try and make time for my fiancée Dean, with a quick getaway or a nice meal out. The Malvern Hills are also a great way to spend a few hours walking with the dogs.
Tell us more about the Liverpool show.
Hospitality at The Liverpool International Horse Show is second to none and makes a fantastic present for great friends and family. Whether on the purpose-built platform at the head of the arena or in one of the VIP boxes – you won’t be disappointed.
This year’s Liverpool International Horse Show is on 29 t0 31 December at The Echo Arena on Liverpool’s iconic waterfront. For further information and to book tickets visit www.liverpoolhorseshow.com.
If you can’t make it to the show you can watch the action here on H&C. Liverpool Intl Horse Show 2017 Grand Prix premieres on 13 January at 8.30pm on Sky 253 and online via H&C Play or Amazon Video. The programme will then be available to watch on Catch Up.