“It was a bit lonely in there!” exclaimed Charlotte Dujardin as she exited the main arena on day two of the LeMieux National Championships. Well, if one rider will take the first three places in the Saracen Horse Feeds Inter I Championship then what can you expect? The Gloucestershire rider improved on her positions yesterday to make it a one, two, three with her trio of rising stars.
It was a second victory in as many days with Mount St John Freestyle. The German-bred Fidermark mare owned by the Yorkshire Mount St John Stud arrived at Stoneleigh with high expectations…and rather large shoes to fill (those of Valegro) but the talented, super-calm mare impressed again today and if anything, rose to a new level to score 79.13%, a record score for the Inter I class at the Championships. Judges at H and C, Stephen Clarke and Lars Andersen, both awarded the duo over 80%.
“I was so happy with her test today. She’s done very few Inter I competitions but just finds it all so easy. I just don’t have any worries with her as she’s so great with the atmosphere,” said Charlotte.
So does the superstar German-bred mare have any faults? “No!” was the instant response. “She has a heart of gold and loves a crowd. She’s not mareish at all and loves a fuss - the only time she’s grumpy is when you walk away!”
As yesterday, second was En Vogue whom Charlotte owns with Sandra Biddlecombe and with a personal best score of 76.13% at this level to boot. A huge smile appeared as the double Olympic champion began to talk about En Vogue. “I couldn’t be more proud of him. To think he started the year at Advanced Medium and has now finished third in the Inter I Championship is amazing. I’ve really taken my time with him as he’s a confidence horse. The feeling he gives is just incredible and when I can get him to give what he does at home in competition, it’ll be amazing. It was a massive ask for him yesterday but to get such a relaxed performance today has made me so happy.
Third spot went to another Mount St John mare, Mount St John Kom Fairytale. Impeccably bred by Fuerst Heinrich out of a Weltmeyer mare, the liver chestnut is quite a firecracker and Charlotte had to adapt her riding style accordingly. But buoyed by the confidence of yesterday’s Prix St Georges experience, ‘Princess’ was more settled to score 73.87%.
“That was much better than yesterday, she was much more rideable,” Charlotte explained. “She’s never seen anything like this arena so to go back in on day two and improve is as much as you can ask of them.
“We’ve had her about two years and she was razor blade sharp when she arrived having not done much competing. She could do all the movements but I decided to take her back to go forward. I’m hoping she’ll be out at Grand Prix next year,” she said.
With three horses destined for great things, does Charlotte have a favourite in the trio? “It's so hard to say. They’re three very different characters. Freestyle and Vogue are all my own work whereas Princess had been produced. But the way she’s come on is great to see but you can’t beat bringing on a young horse, there’s nothing better.”
Charlotte has elected to ride just one in the Saracen Horse Feeds Inter I Freestyle on Sunday, Mount St John Freestyle.
Article Source: British Dressage News
Image courtesy Kevin Sparrow Photography
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