Photo: Charlotte and River Rise Escarla in the Magic Prix St Georges Gold (c) Kevin Sparrow
Charlotte Dujardin showcased her incredible string of young horses at the NAF Five Star Winter Dressage Championships, claiming six wins over five days.
‘Fell in love’
“I’m delighted with all my horses this week,” said Charlotte. “I really couldn’t ask any more from them at their stages of training.”
Charlotte’s first win was in the Equi-Trek Elementary Gold Championship with rising star Hawtins San Floriana, who was awarded an impressive 78.54%.
Charlotte “fell in love” with the mare, when she saw her competing in the Shearwater Young Horse semi-finals as a four-year-old. Now six, she is the first horse Charlotte has co-owned with Carl Hester.
“We normally have such different taste, but he says that as he slows down he’d rather sit and watch me ride,” Charlotte said.
“I feel quite honoured that he still wants to put more time into me. I always say that I came here working for him, and now he works for me!”
Charlotte and Hawtins San Floriana were on winning form again in the Blue Chip Novice Gold (74.33%).
The inaugural Magic Prix St Georges Gold class saw yet another win for Charlotte, this time with River Rise Escarla (75.57%), who she co-owns with Sarah Tyler-Evans.
Cantered around the car park
The pair went on to win the prestigious Magic Prix St Georges Freestyle (74.04%) at the Friday gala performance – despite Charlotte admitting she made up the test as she went along!
“It was an Inter I music, Carl said I wouldn’t be able to make it work but I said I’ve got no choice, I’m just going to have to improvise!” said Charlotte. “The trot work stayed the same, but I had to change the canter, so I bluffed my way around there.
“I honestly cantered around the car park thinking about what I could do, people were looking at me thinking I was crazy! Every freestyle I do is unprepared: it’s the story of my life!”
No-one was prepared for Charlotte to achieve a one-two-three in the Charles Owen Advanced Medium Gold. It was River Rise Nisa who took the title on 75.83%, despite Charlotte describing her as the greenest of the bunch. Gio (73.29%) was second and Mount St John VIP (73.16%) was third.
River Rise Nisa, who is also co-owned by Sarah Tyler, went on to win the Albion Medium Gold on the final day.
With such talented seven-year-olds Charlotte will potentially have three Grand Prix horses at the same time, a few years down the line.
“I honestly have the best string of horses I’ve ever had!” said a delighted Charlotte. “I love doing the lower levels. It teaches me so much about the horses.
“They’ve all got different quirks that as a rider I have to work out and manage. Enjoying this part of the training is what it’s all about.”
You can watch Charlotte compete in the Blue Chip Novice Gold Championships, as it features in our latest episode of Rudall’s Round-Up.