British Media Hail Charlotte & Valegro Grand Prix World Record

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Charlotte Dujardin and Valegro on the way to world record Grand Prix score at London Olympia. Photo: Courtesy London International Horse Show

LONDON, Dec. 18–The British media with the global reach of the BBC to London’s array of gossip tabloids to serious journals and newspapers across the country hailed the world record set by Great Britain’s Olympic double gold medal winner Charlotte Dujardin and Valegro.

With no other sports achievements to compete for coverage as there were at the Olympics in London four months ago, the mainstream media embraced the 27-year-old rider who was treated for bronchitis just hours before she rode the 10-year-old KWPN gelding to a record Grand Prix score of 84.447 per cent at the London Olympia International Horse Show, a hugely popular traditional Christmas celebration in the British capital.

The BBC reported the record on its prime 10 p.m. news Monday night. So, too, did Sky News.

London’s daily newspapers provided coverage in print and on their Internet sites that was virtually unprecedented for dressage.

Numerous photos and lengthy quotes in the Daily Mail, Star, Telegraph, Times and others with millions of newspapers circulated daily throughout the United Kingdom overshadowed extensive coverage by equestrian media, including the press that focuses on horse racing.

“Charlotte Dujardin and Valegro Seek Perfect Finish to Golden Year,” read the Times headline.

It wasn’t just London’s highly competitive media, though.

The achievement won space in the Scotsman, the Liverpool Daily Post and dozens of other newspapers across the country.

Meantime, Valegro’s future as a British owned horse is still up in the air.

Carl Hester, who owns the horse with Roly Luard, and is the trainer of Charlotte and Valegro told dressage-news.com that discussions are being held with prospective investors to buy out part of the horse that Roly agreed to keep in competition until after the Olympics.

“We have a few people we’re talking to,” Carl said from Olympia of the gelding that added the Grand Prix record to the record for the Grand Prix Special that Charlotte and Valegro put in the books in April. The only record the pair don’t hold is the Grand Prix Freestyle that belongs to Edward Gal and Totilas and was set at this competition exactly three years ago.

“I cant sell the horse as an investment,” he said, “it’s purely for pleasure.”