Charlotte Dujardin sets a new personal best in London riding Gio

Charlotte Dujardin and Gio and London International horse show 2021
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Charlotte Dujardin sets a new personal best in London riding Gio

Opening the 2021 edition of The London International Horse Show in style, Charlotte Dujardin set a new personal best on Thursday morning riding her 2020 Tokyo Olympic ride, Gio in The FEI Dressage World Cup Grand Prix (2021 Short Test). The early morning test welcomed 15 dressage competitors into the London ExCeL arena, with a total prize fund of 15.000 euros.

It was Great Britain’s Gareth Hughes who took the early lead, scoring 69.605 riding KK Dominant. Compatriot Richard Davison was the first to surpass the 70% mark, scoring 71.526% aboard his 15-year-old homebred gelding Bubblingh. However, his lead was short-lived, as he was followed into the arena by Britain’s joint most decorated female Olympian, Charlotte Dujardin. Dujardin and the 10-year-old chestnut, Gio who was sold to Sarah Pidgley in October 2021, set the arena alight, trending at over 80% for much of the test and setting a new personal best score of 82.553%.

Dujardin’s Tokyo Olympic teammate, Lottie (Charlotte) Fry, riding her 2019 European Championship partner Dark Legend, was the next to pose a challenge. However, a score of 74.52% – which went into second place at the time – was only good enough for eventual fourth in such hot competition. The final two to go, Nanna Skodborg Merrald from Denmark and Frederic Wandres from Germany came closest to Dujardin’s outstanding mark to finish third and second respectively.

The only rider to break the seal on the 80%+ final score, Charlotte commented:

I was absolutely over the moon with Gio today. This is his first indoor show, he has only really done the Olympics and Europeans this year, so he had to up his game very quickly to go into that huge indoor arena. He took it in his stride, he went out there and did the test, I didn’t feel like I had to hold his hand through it at all. He really delivered, which made me unbelievably happy. “

Of the Show’s new venue, she continued:

This is a super Show, an incredible venue, they’ve done an incredible job.”

Final standings

1st – Charlotte Dujardin (GBR) riding Gio 82.553%

2nd – Frederic Wandres (GER) riding Duke of Britain FRH 75.158%

3rd – Nanna Skodborg Merrald (DEN) riding Atterupgaards Orthilia 75.105%

4th – Charlotte Fry (GBR) riding Dark Legend 74.526%

5th – Richard Davison (GBR) riding Bubblingh 71.526%

6th – Agusti Elias Lara (ESP) riding Altaneiro 69.842%

7th Gareth Hughes (GBR) riding KK Dominant 69.605%

8th Lara Butler (GBR) riding Kristjan 69.368%

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