May 22 2013 Latest news:
Thursday, August 9, 2012
Olympic equestrianism: Delight for rider in Debut Games
Charlotte Dujardin claimed her second dressage gold of the London 2102 Games to mark a sensational Olympic debut.
The Team GB rider was crowned the Olympic individual freestyle champion at Greenwich Park after helping Britain claim team glory for the first time ever of Tuesday.
The 27-year-old is only the fourth British female athlete to win double gold at one Games after Dame Kelly Holmes, Rebecca Adlington and Laura Trott.
Enfield-born Dujardin was the last rider to go, and she broke her third Olympic record in three separate London disciplines by scoring 90.089 per cent.
It eclipsed Dutch rider Adelinde Cornelissen and Parzival’s score of 88.196%, while Britain’s Laura Bechtolsheimer and Mistral Hojris won bronze.
The winer laid all the praise at the hooves of her horse, Valegro: “It’s unbelievable, I’m very emotional. He felt very tired but he still gave me everything. I can’t believe it was only last January that we did our first Grand Prix together and now we have two Olympic gold medals”
She added: “It’s unbelievable. I’ve always known that my horse could achieve this but with the atmosphere and expectations, actually doing it is something else.
“It’s been amazing since I got the phone call to say I’d made the team, not many people get this chance and to come here with such a fantastic horse like Valegro and win doesn’t feel real.
“He felt a bit tired today but he gave me his all, he’s never let me down, he’s the horse of a lifetime.”
Bechtolsheimer was the first to congratulate her team-mate: “I love Charlotte’s music - it shows the expression that Valegro has. Since she has been in the team we’ve won two Golds.”
Dujardin, who trains with Hester at his Newent yard, had been favourite for gold, but she had to ride under intense pressure after Cornelissen set a stunning standard.
However she was up to the task with her brilliant 10-year-old Valegro, and she will leave London with two gold medals and three Olympic records.
Born in north London, Dujardin lived in the Buckinghamshire village of Finmere as a child before spending four years working with renowned British dressage judge and trainer Judy Harvey.
Her career took off from the age of 20 when she started working with Hester, who part-owns Valegro.
Earlier this year, she broke the grand prix special world record, and then just a month ago she set a new British freestyle record for the individual freestyle when she gave her London routine a run-out at Hartpury in Gloucestershire.