Charlotte Dujardin and Carl Hester dominated the CDI4* dressage at Royal Windsor Horse Show – and you can watch them in action on Horse & Country.
Freestyle by nature
The darlings of British Dressage took the top two spots in both classes with their exciting new partners, Mount St John Freestyle and Hawtins Delicato. We are showing highlights of the Al Shira’aa Grand Prix Freestyle to Music, which saw Charlotte score a whopping 81.2%.
Freestyle by name Freestyle by nature, the nine-year-old mare owned by Mount St John stud belied her lack of experience and produced the only test to break the 80% barrier.
The pair performed to music from How To Train Your Dragon that was originally made for Valegro, and it made the most of the mare’s off-the-floor paces, impressive passage and extensions.
“That was only her second freestyle and it’s not something we practice at home so I am really happy,” said Charlotte. “Everything she does, she does so well and I can’t ask for more, especially at this stage.
“It was Valegro’s very first music and brings back many memories and always gives me goosebumps – and I just love riding to it.”
Carl also chose to introduce Hawtins Delicato to freestyle using a former soundtrack, originally used for his Olympic gold-medal winning partner, Uthopia. It proved a perfect match for the 10-year-old and they scored 76.825 to come second.
“He felt much more rideable tonight,” said Carl, who bought the British-bred gelding as a four-year-old from breeder Judith Davies. “He is a very exciting horse and at this stage just needs nursing along.”
Former British team rider Gareth Hughes finished one better than the previous evening to make the top three with Don Carissimo (73.870).
“That is only his second outing this year and it was a whole lot better than the first – he is a real trier,” said Gareth.
The night before Charlotte and Carl achieved another one-two in the Al Shira’aa Grand Prix. It was both combinations third grand prix together, but the horses coped well in the big arena atmosphere.
Charlotte and Freestyle posted their third victory with a score of 78.58% ahead of Carl and Hawtins Delicato on 75.717%. Richard Davison and his homebred Bubblingh were third with a score of 70.8%.
“You literally have no idea with these young horses how they will react, but this is such a good arena and space and does give you an idea of how they will cope with the big occasion,” said Carl, who is aiming both horses for the World Equestrian Games in September.