Charlotte Dujardin & Young Horses From New Partner Mount St. John – Part 3 of 3

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Charlotte Dujardin on Emma Blundell's MSJ Top Secret. a four-year-old mare (Totilas x Dacaprio).
Charlotte Dujardin on Emma Blundell’s MSJ Top Secret. a four-year-old mare (Totilas x Dacaprio). Photo Courtesy of Risto Aaltonen

June 24, 2015

By KENNETH J. BRADDICK

When Charlotte Dujardin went to Denmark for a riding clinic last year most of the fans who packed the stadium had only ever seen her ride the “amazing” Valegro and thought of her only as the rider of a trained horse.

But after riding a couple of dozen young horses–some of them, well, misbehaving as youngsters will–the double Olympic gold medalist who turns 30 years old before the next European Championships in Aachen, Germany in August believes she “shut up a lot of people” who thought she was “a one-trick person.”

Now, Charlotte is in a partnership with Emma Blundell, more than a year younger but as determined to succeed as a breeder of mares with excellent dressage bloodlines that most of all are rideable as Charlotte has proven herself as a trainer and competitor at the top of the sport.

Charlotte showed she could train horses when she took Fernandez, a Westfalen gelding, to Grand Prix before selling the horse for another rider to make the Norwegian team at the 2013 European Championships while Charlotte focused on Valegro.

The career Valegro has been historic–the first ever medals for Great Britain in dressage in a century of Olympic competition, the first ever British World Cup champion and the holder of all three Grand Prix score records in addition to World Games and European medals of assorted colors. Charlotte is looking beyond the Olympics in Rio de Janeiro in 2016 and the retirement of  the KWPN gelding now aged 13.

Charlotte Dujardin and Florentina
Charlotte Dujardin and Florentina

Looking to the future, she bought the gray mare Florentina as a two-year-old at auction for herself. The mare, now five, has been competed successfully by Charlotte. As a result of the partnership with Emma, “Flora” was sent up to Mount St. John for an embryo transfer.

 

“It’s amazing how many people think I’ve been offered thousands of horses to ride,” Charlotte told dressage-news.com in a recent interview about the partnership with Emma Blundell’s Mount St. John breeding operation.

“That hasn’t been the case. I haven’t been offered horses left, right and center. It’s a very tough world from a rider’s point of view. It’s a lot of hard work, a very expensive sport. You have to have the right partnership, the right relationship with the person to work with.

“Now having Emma behind me as an owner is really, really exciting for me as a rider, to have someone supportive behind me supplying me with fantastic horses.”

Mount St. John Freestyle, the first dressage foal bought by Emma from the Verden Elite Auction, made her first outing with Charlotte only weeks into their new partnership, the pair logging a victory with a mark of 8.26.

She also competed Top Secret, nicknamed “Rosie,” Mount St. John’s first homebred at the four-year-old’s first show, winning on a result of 8.42.

The competition would have been good preparation for Freestyle to be ridden by Charlotte at the World Young Horse Championships in Verden, Germany the first week of August but the European Championships scheduled to start just days later required Charlotte to focus on Valegro.

With the young horse classes being extended in 2016 to seven year olds from the current lineup of five and six year old horses, Emma hopes Charlotte will be able to ride Freestyle in the world championships then.

Mount St. John Freestyle being ridden by Charlotte Dujardin.
Mount St. John Freestyle being ridden by Charlotte Dujardin. Photo © Jo Prestwich

Charlotte is a highly successful and popular as a clinician around the world, something she loves to do.

With new business management, she is arranging training symposiums over the next few years. For events close to home, she can demonstrate the results of her partnership with Mount St. John’s by using the young horses she has been training of Mount St. John young horses