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