Dressage gold for Charlotte and Valegro

By: Horse Deals

Dressage gold for Charlotte and Valegro
Dressage gold for Charlotte and Valegro

History has been made in Greenwich Park again today as Britain clinched its first individual Olympic medals – a gold and a bronze.

Twenty-seven-year-old Charlotte Dujardin  (left) reduced 23,000 people to tears in the grandstand with her Olympic record breaking performance.

Riding horse of a lifetime, Valegro, owned by Carl Hester and Roly Luard, she scored an amazing 90.098% inthe freestyle to music grand prix test.

Charlotte rode to a patriotic routine which included highlights of British classics such as The Great Escape and Elgar’s Pomp and Circumstance and James Bond themes.

Charlotte becomes only the fourth British woman ever to win two gold medals at one Olympics alongside runner Kelly Holmes, swimmer Rebecca Adlington and cyclist Laura Trott.

Additionally, two medals also brought Team GB’s medal total to the magic 50.

"That was unbelievable," said an emotional Charlotte. "It is always something I've known the horse could achieve but actually doing it is something else. I didn't really know how I was going to find the atmosphere and the expectation.

"Not many people are going to have the chance that I've had to get to the Olympics in a year and a bit of competing in grand prix and to come here with such a fantastic horse like Valegro and win doesn’t feel real. "All I could do was to do my best. Valegro was feeling tired, but he got in there and gave his all. He’s never let me down; he’s the horse of a lifetime."

Team mate Laura Bechtolsheimer finished in bronze position with her long-term partner Mistral Hojris, owned by Laura and her father Wilfried. They rode to tunes from Disney’s The Lion King and finished on a score of 84.339%.

A delighted Laura said; "I was hoping Alf would come home with a medal today for that performance.

"He's 17 years old and he's given me so much. To compete against these young horses with such enthusiasm makes me very emotional. He was just beautiful to ride, so powerful. He was doing it for me. He’s just got better and better all week and today I wanted to do him justice and enjoy it. He was amazing, I could ride for the maximum in every movement, it was like telepathy between us and he had so much power. The whole experience has been awesome and this crowd has carried us to all our medals."

Britain’s third rider Carl Hester finished in fifth place with Sasha Stewart and his own Uthopia who debuted his new music routine prepared by Tom Huntto score 82.857%.

"To have our three riders in the top five is an absolute bomb to the rest of the world," said Carl. "I’m so excited for Charlotte and Laura as the new generation of British riders, securing the future of the sport by delivering at the top level. I feel equally as happy as if I’d won gold myself, being trainer to Charlotte and part owner to Valegro, nurturing this talent has given me great pleasure."

The silver medal went to Adelinde Cornelissen who rode her well-practiced freestyle test to The Dance of the Sugar Plum Fairy with Parzival to score 88.196%.

The dressage team gold, individual gold and bronze combine with the team silver won by the eventing team and team gold from the showjumpers make London 2012 Britain’s most successful Games for equestrian sport.