Charlotte Dujardin & Valegro Win Hickstead CDIO3* Special With Best Score in World Since Own Record

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Charlotte Dujardin and Valegro at Hickstead racking up highest Special score since their own world record in April, 2012. © 2013 Ken Braddick/dressage-news.com
Charlotte Dujardin and Valegro at Hickstead racking up highest Special score since their own world record in April, 2012. © 2013 Ken Braddick/dressage-news.com

By KENNETH J. BRADDICK

HICKSTEAD, England, Aug. 3–Charlotte Dujardin and Valegro posted the highest Grand Prix Special score in the world since setting the record 15 months ago to win at the Hickstead CDIO3* Nations Cup event Saturday despite rider errors that ruled out a possible new high result.

With just over two weeks to the European Championships, the partnership that exactly a year ago became Great Britain’s double Olympic gold medal winners scored 85.417 per cent. That was 2.605 percentage points below the world record of 88.022 per cent the pair set at Hagen, Germany in April, 2012.

Charlotte said later she had felt they could be on their way to a new world record in front of a home crowd that packed the spectator stands before a fault in the one-tempi changes, identical to the mistake the pair made in the Grand Prix Friday. It was the first time peforming the Special since the Olympic Games in London exactly a year ago. And that was a different version of the test.

Even so, Charlotte and the 11-year-old KWPN gelding (Negro x Gerschwin) were the victors by a massive margin over Carl Hester and Fine Time 13 on 73.813 per cent. Carl is Charlottes’s coach, mentor and an owner of Valegro.

Lara Griffith, a 24-year-old Briton, rode Andretti H to third place with a score of 70.021 per cent. Lara competed for Britain in both Junior and Young Rider European Championships on other horses, but this was her first CDI and it was on the Hanoverian gelding now aged 18 that was competed throughout Europe by Laura Bechtolsheimer, before she married last fall and became Laura Tomlinson.

The star of the show, though, was the partnership of Charlotte and Valegro who have competed only twice–at London Olympia’s Christmas show and six weeks ago to lead Britain to victory in the Nations Cup at Rotterdam–after their performance to help win the country’s first Olympic dressage medal of any color since dressage was introduced to the Games a century earlier.

Charlotte was clearly upset with herself after the ride Saturday.

Valegro ridden by Charlotte Dujardin in showing off their extended trot. © 013 Ken Braddick/dressage-news.com
Valegro ridden by Charlotte Dujardin in showing off their extended trot. © 013 Ken Braddick/dressage-news.com

“it was the same thing,” she said, “He was amazing in the trot, it felt really, really good.

“But the mistake in the one-tempis was the same thing, totally rider error. The problem is my legs freeze up. I just let him get a bit down and it’s the same mistake. I just need to hold his head up and move my legs.

“I can’t tell you how frustrated I was with myself, so annoyed with myself. Even if I win–and I don’t want to sound ungrateful–but I wasn’t happy. I feel frustrated with myself that I made those errors.

“I just haven’t done much on him since last year. We’re just getting back out there again.

“You can slap the rider and pat the horse.”

Charlotte Dujardin and Valegro in the Hickstead Grand Prix Special. © 2013 Ken Braddick/dressage-news.com

Charlotte Dujardin and Valegro in the Hickstead Grand Prix Special. © 2013 Ken Braddick/dressage-news.com

 Charlotte, who is aged 27, did not hear a helicopter taking off in a field next to the dressage arenas that are on the same show grounds as the international jumping competition. She said that Valegro is sensitive to the leg and he jumped when she touched him but did not know why.

The aim of this competition where she was not on Britain’s Nations Cup team so she could ride the Special rather than the Freestyle was to prepare for the Europeans that will start in Herning, Denmark Aug. 19.

“I’m delighted with him,” she said, “he’s such an amazing horse. It’s great to be here that British fans can see him. He had his little friends come up and pat him and have pictures with him.”

New music was composed, but she said she plans to use her patriotic Olympic music at the Europeans because so many people asked us to use it. As much as I try o make better music, that one is magical.”

She said she is going to Europeans with the same goal as all the other competitors–to win gold as Britain did on the team of Charlotte and Valegro, Carl and Uthopia and Laura Tomlinson on Mistral Hojris at Rotterdam in 2011.

“I’d like to say we’re going to win all of it. We want to come home with all those golds,” she said.

“Whether we do who knows. On the day anything can happen. It’s who makes mistakes and who doesn’t. That’s what it all comes down to.”

Charlotte Dujardin and Valegro performing the pirouette. © 2013 Ken Braddick/dressage-news.com
Charlotte Dujardin and Valegro performing the pirouette. © 2013 Ken Braddick/dressage-news.com

The Freestyle which will decide the Nations Cup is scheduled for Sunday, with seven European teams plus the United States vying for victory in the finale of the pilot series of four events this summer.

Results:

Judges
E: MARIETTA ALMASY
H: JUAN CAMPOS ESCRIBAN
C: ISABEL WESSELS
M: KARIN KRUGER
B: PETER ENGEL
DRESSAGE AT HICKSTEAD CDIO/CDYR/CDJ/CDP
CDIO 3* Grand Prix Special
 
 
Rider Horse E H C M B Total
  1. CHARLOTTE DUJARDIN
GBR
VALEGRO
86.458%
(1)
83.229%
(1)
83.333%
(1)
86.563%
(1)
85.417%
(1)
85.000%
2 2. CARL HESTER
GBR
FINE TIME 13
71.250%
(2)
73.854%
(2)
73.854%
(2)
76.250%
(2)
73.854%
(2)
73.813%
3 3. LARA GRIFFITH
GBR
ANDRETTI H
69.896%
(3)
70.104%
(3)
70.521%
(3)
68.958%
(3)
70.625%
(3)
70.021%
4 4. LOTJE SCHOOTS
NED
EQUITOP TORRICELLI LS
69.583%
(4)
69.063%
(4)
69.167%
(5)
67.708%
(5)
67.917%
(6)
68.688%
5 5. HENRIETTE ANDERSON
GBR
LOUIS D’OR
67.813%
(6)
68.333%
(6)
68.229%
(6)
65.313%
(10)
69.271%
(4)
67.792%
6 6. LAURENS VAN LIEREN
NED
TYARA
67.083%
(8)
68.438%
(5)
66.771%
(7)
67.500%
(6)
68.646%
(5)
67.688%
7 7. ANDERS DAHL
DEN
WIE-ATLANTICO DE YMAS
68.229%
(5)
68.125%
(7)
66.563%
(8)
68.125%
(4)
67.083%
(8)
67.625%
8 8. DANIEL WATSON
GBR
FIDERAMBER
66.875%
(9)
66.979%
(9)
69.479%
(4)
66.875%
(9)
67.292%
(7)
67.500%
9 9. DANIEL SHERIFF
GBR
BAYFORD HALL DALLAGIO
66.146%
(10)
67.083%
(8)
66.250%
(10)
67.396%
(8)
66.979%
(9)
66.771%
10 10. MATTHIAS KEMPKES
GER
CORADO
67.188%
(7)
66.354%
(10)
66.354%
(9)
67.500%
(6)
64.688%
(10)
66.417%
11 11. KATJA GEVERS
NED
TARINA
66.146%
(10)
64.583%
(11)
64.792%
(12)
63.438%
(12)
63.958%
(11)
64.583%
12 12. DAVID BLAKE
USA
IKAROS
65.625%
(12)
64.167%
(12)
65.104%
(11)
64.688%
(11)
61.979%
(12)
64.313%
13 13. KIRSTY MEPHAM
GBR
CALDERON
59.271%
(14)
60.208%
(14)
63.229%
(13)
60.833%
(14)
60.417%
(13)
60.792%
14 14. CHERE BURGER
RSA
ADELPRAG ANDERS 451
60.104%
(13)
62.083%
(13)
58.229%
(14)
61.458%
(13)
57.292%
(15)
59.833%
15 15. ALICE OPPENHEIMER
GBR
HEADMORE DELEGATE
56.667%
(15)
59.792%
(15)
56.458%
(15)
57.708%
(15)
59.063%
(14)
57.938%