Charlotte Dujardin OBE is a elite British dressage rider, triple Gold Medalist at the London 2012 and Rio 2016 Olympics Games, European Champion, World Champion and holds all three World Records in the sport of Dressage.
Charlotte and Valegro were part of the Gold medal winning team at the 2011 European Championships in Rotterdam on their Championship debut. Rode her first Grand Prix test in January 2011 with Valegro, with a debut score of 74%
Born in Enfield, Charlotte was brought up in Hertfordshire and started riding as a two-year old. By sixteen years old, Charlotte, with the support of her family, had won the Horse of the Year Show competition four times and was a winner at Hickstead on three occasions. After further encouragement from her trainer, Debbie Thomas, Charlotte took up dressage with a horse bought from her grandmother’s inheritance.
In February 2007, she had some lessons with Carl Hester, and after ten days at his yard and spotting her talent, he offered her a job as a groom at his yard in Newent, Gloucestershire, where she has since remained. Charlotte’s horse at the time was Fernandez whom she trained and brought through the levels. From the start, Charlotte was asked to bring on the novice Dutch Warmblood gelding Valegro, owned by Hester and Roly Luard, with the intention of that horse being ridden by Hester. However, after competing in their first dressage Grand Prix event in 2011, the combination became part of the successful team, who won gold in a European Dressage Championships competition at Rotterdam and thus began their meteoric rise.
Dujardin and Valegro were selected to represent Great Britain at the London 2012 Olympic Games and in the first round, the team set a new Olympic Record of 83.784%. On 7 August 2012 the pair were members of the team, which won the gold medal in the team dressage event. Two days later, in a routine, which included Land of Hope and Glory, The Great Escape and the chimes of Big Ben; the pair won the gold medal in the individual dressage event with a score of 90.089%.
A global superstar was born….
In December 2012 Dujardin, again riding Valegro, won the 2012 World Cup freestyle event held at Olympia with a score of 87.875%. On 19 April 2015 in Las Vegas, Nevada, US, Dujardin and Valegro won the FEI World Cup with a score of 94.169% on the final day of competition. This was their fourth consecutive World title, making them the only competition pair to have ever held four consecutive world titles.
Dujardin and Valegro also achieved an individual gold medal at the 2016 Rio Olympics in the Dressage Freestyle, making her the first British woman to retain an individual Olympic title, and briefly the most successful female British Olympian in the history of the Games, before Laura Trott surpassed her record with a fourth gold. Dujardin and Valegro set a new Olympic dressage score of 93.857 in the Grand Prix Freestyle and also won a team silver medal, once again making the nation proud.