What a sensational result for Charlotte Dujardin, Carl Hester’s protégé, who today won the freestyle to music at Greenwich Park to win the Olympic gold medal. She has ridden with such a cool head throughout the competition, even after winning team gold, but the previously controlled emotion bubbled up and there were many tears as Charlotte heard her score of over 90% and knew that she and Valegro had won the gold.
Laura Bechtolsheimer rode a super freestyle on Mistral Hojris to music from ‘The Lion King’ to take the Bronze medal with over 84% while Carl Hester had to settle for 5th on the lovely Uthopia who, he said, was just lacking a little energy in this final test, but still achieved over 82%.
Dividing the British riders to take the silver medal was Adelinde Cornelissen with Parzival who scored what looked like an unbeatable test for 88% just before Charlotte rode her test, but it wasn’t enough to beat the 26 year old Gloucestershire based rider.
Charlotte has ridden Valegro since he was a young horse and they clearly have a wonderful partnership. Carl was going to take the ride over when Valegro reached Prix St Georges, but he allowed Charlotte to continue riding him and what an amazing break that was for Charlotte. His decision at that time led to the team gold medal.
Carl has changed the face of dressage in Great Britain and made it what it is today and the olympic successes will be an amazing shot in the arm for British Dressage. He so deserves the team gold medal he helped win 2 days earlier.
Thank you Carl and very well done to Charlotte and Laura.