Charlotte Dujardin completes world record hat-trick at Olympia


Double Olympic champion Charlotte Dujardin completed a hat-trick of world records as she won the London stage of the Dressage World Cup at Olympia.

The 28-year-old and Valegro, with whom she won individual and team gold at London 2012, now hold the records in all three elements of their sport.

The first Briton to complete the treble, Dujardin won Tuesday’s Grand Prix freestyle with a record 93.975%. “It’s been an incredible journey from when I started to now,” said Dujardin.

“It’s been an absolute rollercoaster. The things I’ve done, I didn’t even dream of doing or achieving. Now I’ve finally got my last world record, it’s fantastic.”

The Netherlands’ Edward Gal, the last rider to own all three records at once, had set the previous freestyle best of 92.30% on board Totilas in 2009. Gal was second at Olympia on Tuesday, scoring 87.425%.

Dujardin already held the records in the other two disciplines which form international dressage: the Grand Prix and Grand Prix Special.

The future of the peerless partnership between Dujardin and Valegro has been under threat since London 2012.

Valegro’s owners have looked to sell the horse, which would mean Gloucestershire-based Dujardin losing the ride.

Now, however, Dujardin says Valegro will remain with her for 2014.

“Absolutely, Valegro will be there next year,” she confirmed. “I’ll be planning to do the World Equestrian Games next year and see how it goes.

“I’d love to get some medals at the Worlds, so I’ve done Europeans, Olympics and Worlds. That’s my next goal”

Tuesday’s performance did, however, bring down the curtain on one aspect of Dujardin’s career: she performed for the last time to the music she and Valegro used so successfully at London 2012.

“Next year I’m going to get some new music,” Dujardin told BBC Sport.

“This was just an incredible year after having 2012, which was mind-blowing. To come and top what I’ve already done has been incredible.

“I can’t believe it. I’m ecstatic. I came here hoping to finish it in such a great year and get that record.

“I’m hoping to retire now,” she joked. “I’ve got all three, so ‘happy retirement’.”

Meanwhile, another British partnership bade a fond farewell to the Olympia crowd as Laura Tomlinson – a member of the Olympic title-winning team alongside Dujardin – retired her horse Mistral Hojris.

Tomlinson and Mistral Hojris, better known as Alf, won three world silver medals in 2010 alongside gold and individual bronze at London 2012, helping to pave the way for Britain to become world leaders in dressage.

The year-ending Olympia event, officially the London International Horse Show, runs until Sunday.

Thursday’s puissance and Saturday’s jumping World Cup are the biggest remaining highlights, particularly a clash in the latter between leading British showjumpers Scott Brash and Ben Maher.

The duo are currently ranked first and second in the world respectively.

Source: BBC Equestrian 17 December 2013

http://www.bbc.co.uk/sport/0/equestrian/25424257

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