Charlotte Dujardin & Valegro Set Grand Prix World Record of 85.942% at European Championships–in Photos

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Charlotte Dujardin on Valegro after setting new Grand Prix world record, at the European Championships Aug. 22, 2013. © 2013 Ken Braddick/dressage-news.com
Charlotte Dujardin on Valegro after setting new Grand Prix world record, at the European Championships Aug. 22, 2013. © 2013 Ken Braddick/dressage-news.com

By KENNETH J. BRADDICK

HERNING, Denmark, Aug. 22, 2013–Charlotte Dujardin and Valegro rode to a new Grand Prix world record Thursday of 85.942 per cent at the European Championships Nations Cup, breaking the previous record of 84.447 per cent the double Olympic gold medal pair set at London’s Olympia on Dec. 17, 2012.

The ride by Charlotte and the 11-year-old KWPN gelding was close to flawless with 17 marks of 10 and 12 marks of 9.5 with the half-full soccer stadium almost silent except for gasps as scores were flashed on electronic ssoreboards.

Charlotte, 27, and Valegro hold the Grand Prix and Grand Prix Special world records, but Edward Gal of the Netherlands and the black stallion Totilas still hold the Freestyle record.

Carl Hester ecstatc at the end of the ride by Charlotte Dujardin and Valegro. © 2-13 Ken Braddick/dressage-news.com
Carl Hester ecstatic at the end of the ride by Charlotte Dujardin and Valegro. © 2-13 Ken Braddick/dressage-news.com

The result was not enough for Great Britain to repeat as gold medal winners but it did insure a return trip to the medals podium. The difference of 25 percentage points over the lowest score on the team of 60.866 per cent was believed to be the biggest margin in the 20-year history of the European Championships.

Carl Hester, who rode Uthopia on the team as he did at the 2011 European Championships in Rotterdam where Britain won gold for the first time and last summer’s London Olympics and is mentor, coach and part-owner of Valegro was emotional over the performance even before the record score was known.

Charlotte Dujardin and Valegro showing off extended trot. © 2013 Ken Braddick/dressage-news.com
Charlotte Dujardin and Valegro shwing off extended trot. © 2013 Ken Braddick/dressage-news.com
The piaffe that along with passage earned Charlotte Dujardin and Valegro multiple marks of 10. © 2013 Ken Braddick/dressage-news.com
The piaffe that along with passage earned Charlotte Dujardin and Valegro multiple marks of 10. © 2013 Ken Braddick/dressage-news.com
Charlotte Dujardin and Valegro performing passage. © 2013 Ken Braddick/dressage-news.com
Charlotte Dujardin and Valegro performing passage. © 2013 Ken Braddick/dressage-news.com
Charlotte Dujardin and Valegro cantering. © 2013 Ken Braddick/dressage-news.com
Charlotte Dujardin and Valegro cantering. © 2013 Ken Braddick/dressage-news.com
The one-tempi changes that Charlotte Dujardin and Valegro nailed--as they did with virtually all the other movements except for the walk. © 2013 Ken Braddick/dressage-news.com
The one-tempi changes that Charlotte Dujardin and Valegro nailed–as they did with virtually all the other movements except for the walk. © 2013 Ken Braddick/dressage-news.com
Charlotte Dujardin and Valegro in the pirouette. © 2013 Ken Braddick/dressage-news.com
Charlotte Dujardin and Valegro in the pirouette. © 2013 Ken Braddick/dressage-news.com