Dres­sage Pammy Hut­ton

Char­lotte Du­jardin and the stun­ning eight-year-old mare Mount St John Freestyle land yet an­other ti­tle

Horse & Hound - - On The Cover - By STEPHANIE BATE­MAN

IT was an­other mas­terly per­for­mance from Char­lotte Du­jardin, who smashed the 80% bar­rier to land vic­tory rid­ing Emma Blun­dell’s MSJ Freestyle.

De­spite the elec­tric at­mos­phere, the Fi­der­mark daugh­ter de­fied her eight years by soak­ing up the crowds and pulling off a foot-per­fect in­ter I freestyle per­for­mance to score 84.91%.

Fresh from a short break af­ter the na­tion­als — where she was crowned na­tional in­ter I supreme cham­pion — the mare pricked her ears, flicked her toes and looked ev­ery bit the Olympic cham­pion she is des­tined to be.

“That’s what makes her so spe­cial — she can go into the arena with that pres­ence and noth­ing fazes her,” said Char­lotte. “That’s the big­gest arena and au­di­ence she’s ever had to con­tend with, but I never feel she’s afraid of any­thing. She takes it all in her stride, de­liv­ers the goods and gives me ev­ery­thing.”

Maria Eil­berg and her flashy 10-year-old geld­ing Sarotti 57 took the run­ner-up spot with a per­sonal best of 77.5%. The flu­id­ity and power in their trot and can­ter work was out­stand­ing.

“He can be bit sharp and I wasn’t sure what to ex­pect be­cause HOYS is a bit un­pre­dictable,” said Maria. “It’s not just com­pet­ing in the main arena, but also the trains go­ing past and horses ev­ery­where, but he re­ally kept his cool.

“His trot is more con­sis­tent and he loves his ex­tended can­ter and cov­ered quite a bit of ground, which is a sign that he is re­laxed and en­joy­ing him­self.”

So­phie Wells filled third — also with a per­sonal best — rid­ing the beau­ti­ful 10-year-old geld­ing C Fa­tal At­trac­tion, aka Jorge.

Their 76.37% may even have been even higher if it weren't for Jorge break­ing from ex­tended trot into can­ter on the fi­nal cen­tre line, but So­phie was im­pressed with his at­ti­tude.

“I was so ner­vous be­cause it is his worst type of en­vi­ron­ment with ev­ery­one be­ing close, but he coped re­ally well,” said So­phie, who was also named the HOYS Eques­trian of the Year ear­lier that day. “Even a low mark wouldn’t have changed how pleased I was with him.”

A flaw­less test earns Char­lotte Du­jardin and Freestyle 84.91%

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