Charlotte Dujardin’s world record triple crown

Scotland's Scott Brash in action on Hello Annie in the Santa Stakes yesterday. Picture: PA
Scotland's Scott Brash in action on Hello Annie in the Santa Stakes yesterday. Picture: PA
Share this article
Have your say

Olympic and European champion Charlotte Dujardin admitted it was a case of mission accomplished after ending 2013 by claiming her third dressage world record.

Dujardin completed a clean sweep of world bests by producing an outstanding performance at the London International Horse Show.

The British star and her London 2012 wonder-horse, Valegro, won the Reem Acra FEI World Cup freestyle class, setting a new world best of 93.975 per cent. It beat the previous record of 92.3 per cent posted by Dutch rider Edward Gal and the brilliant black stallion Totilas in the same event four years ago.

And it means 28-year-old Dujardin, who is based in Gloucestershire, is now world leader at freestyle, grand prix and grand prix special on the same horse on which she won Olympic gold last year and European gold four months ago.

“It was just unbelievable,” she said. “All year I have wanted to get that world record. It has always been on my mind, and to finally think I have done it.”

In front of her home crowd, Dujardin produced a blistering farewell performance of her London 2012 music – a routine highlighted by strains of Land of Hope and Glory and evocative Big Ben chimes – before next year’s World Equestrian Games will herald a new musical odyssey for dressage’s golden partnership.

“I am delighted that I have finished [performing] this music exactly how I wanted to finish. That music deserved a world record,” she added. “I’ve done things that I never dreamt of doing. It is just getting better and better.”

Dujardin won just under €11,000 for landing the world cup qualifier, but it paled in comparison with the feat of rewriting the record books.

The towering Valegro went on to make it a double celebration yesterday when he was named horse of the year for the second time in succession by the British Equestrian Writers’ Association.

Showjumper Ben Maher was named the association’s leading rider of the year.

Maher, a member of Great Britain’s London 2012 gold medal-winning team, enjoyed considerable success this year. He won European team gold and individual silver four months ago, landed the inaugural Global Champions Tour London grand prix and rose to world No 1.

Maher received the BEWA Trophy at an awards lunch in London yesterday.

There was also success for British Showjumping world class performance manager and Great Britain team boss Rob Hoekstra.

Hoekstra, who won the Liz Dudden Trophy awarded for making a major contribution to equestrian sport, has transformed British showjumping since being appointed in early 2010.

Apart from masterminding major championship medal successes, he has also helped to encourage new owners in the sport, while Britain will end the year with Maher ranked as world No 2 and his team-mate Scott Brash, the Olympic gold medallist from Peebles, at No 1. Brash has also followed his Olympic year with considerable success in 2013.