Charlotte Dujardin maintains her Dressage Future Elite Champion title at HOYS
Double Olympic dressage Champion, Charlotte Dujardin, produced a profound performance in front of HRH the Princess Royal at Horse of the Year Show on Thursday evening.
Charlotte, riding the shining eight-year-old prospect Mount St John Freestyle, claimed an emphatic victory in the Dressage Future Elite Championship, with Maria Eilberg finishing second aboard Sarotti 57 and multiple British Paralympic medallist Sophie Wells taking third with C Fatal Attraction.
Gloucestershire-based Charlotte has huge hopes for Mount St John Freestyle. Her performance in Birmingham’s Genting Arena – one that warranted a score of 84.91% – did not disappoint. Next year’s World Equestrian Games in North Carolina are a definite target for the horse, with the 2020 Tokyo Olympics then potentially following.
“I am extremely pleased,” said Charlotte, reflecting on her win. “She is not afraid of anything. I feel she is so switched on and connected to what I am asking of her, and it just feels so effortless.
“I am so lucky. I have 10 horses that I think are top horses. They are at different levels at the moment, and I am really excited. I am very self-driven and motivated.
“She is just like Valegro. She takes everything in her stride, she is not fazed, she doesn’t stress, she doesn’t get at all worried about any situation no matter how much pressure you put on her.”
Sophie Wells Awarded Horse of the Year Show Equestrian of the Year
Horse of the Year Show 2017 Equestrian of the Year Award went to GB Para-dressage rider Sophie Wells. Fresh from her time on the podium at the Para-European Dressage Championships in August, Sophie was presented with the award under the Andrews Bowen International Arena spotlight.
Sophie who was born in 1990 with Amniotic Band Syndrome, a congenital disorder caused by entrapment of fetal parts in fibrous amniotic bands while in the womb, she suffered the loss and partial loss of fingers on both hands as well as enduring deep scarring which caused the loss of sensation and feeling in her lower leg.
However Sophie has never let her disability stop her and has had a number of great achievements in her riding, allowing her to be a perfect candidate for this award. Sophie stood as reserve for the Beijing 2008 Paralympic Games with Touchdown M. Sadly, when called forward, Touchdown M was found to be lame and it was later discovered that he had a tumour in his foot. This knock-back didn’t stop Sophie from progressing and later that year she started riding Pinocchio, a KWPN Chestnut gelding.
Sophie became the first para-rider to compete in an able-bodied championship team at the Young Rider Europeans in 2010 and 2011. Sophie finally made it to the Paralympics in 2012 where she won a gold medal in London and in the 2016 Rio Paralympic Games, Sophie and Valerius (Reece), her 15-year-old gelding, won another individual gold medal.
This year Sophie won the Prix St George Winter Championship title with C Fatal Atraction (Jorge), a 10-year-old KWPN gelding owned by Charlotte Hogg. At the Para-European Dressage Championships in August, Sophie took individual championship silver, individual freestyle gold and team gold in Gothenburg with Jorge.
Sophie is currently ranked as second on the FEI World Para-Equestrian rankings and received a Member of the Most Excellent Order of the British Empire (MBE) in the 2013 New Year’s Honours list.