|Charlotte Dujardin and Valegro, shown here at the 2012 Olympics in London, have set a new world record score in Grand Prix, earning an 85.942 at the 2013 European Championships in Denmark. Photo: Bob Langrish.
Last year at the Olympia Horse Show in Great Britain, young dressage phenom Charlotte Dujardin and her Dutch Warmblood Valegro made headlines by scoring an 84.447 in the Grand Prix, a world record at the time.
Followers of international dressage will remember a similar story from a few years ago involving the incomparable Moorland’s Totilas and Dutch rider Edward Gal. That pair set records in the Grand Prix Freestyle, then topped that world record twice, ultimately setting the bar at 92.3%.
Dujardin has been a formidable competitor with Valegro over the past few years. The pair won individual gold at the 2012 Olympics and led the British team—including Dujardin’s coach, Carl Hester—to gold, Great Britain’s first Olympic medal in the sport. She has also earned kudos from equestrian fans for being one of the first dressage riders to wear a helmet in top-level competition. When she wore her custom Charles Owen at the London Olympics, she became the first dressage rider to earn her victory in a protective helmet rather than a traditional top hat or the military hats that preceded them.
Even with Dujardin’s big score at this year’s European Championships, the British team was edged out of gold by dressage powerhouses Germany and the Netherlands, but held on to the podium, finishing with the bronze medal.
Find out more about the European Championships, which continue through August 25, 2013 in Denmark, visit european-herning.dk