Charlotte Dujardin

Riding: Renai Hart, Carl Hester and her own Gio (chestnut, gelding, 10yrs, Apache x Tango, Breeders: H J de Jong, A Valk NED, Groom: Alan Davies)

Charlotte Dujardin and Gio c LL FOTO.DE

Charlotte started her riding career at a young age, beginning in showing where she achieved much success, winning at Horse of the Year Show and Hickstead.

Charlotte was ‘spotted’ by Carl Hester and she took on a full-time role as his rider in 2007 and duly took on the ride on Valegro and global dressage’s most iconic partnership began. The legendary duo made their championship debut in 2011, contributing to a historic first team gold for Britain. At London 2012 they put dressage on the map and had everyone talking about the girl on the dancing horse with team and individual gold. Four years on, she made history again at Rio 2016 in becoming the first British female to retain an Olympic title by winning individual gold and leading the British team to Silver. Valegro retired from competition in 2016 fit and well and is still king of the yard at Carl Hester’s base.

In 2015 she formed a partnership with Emma Blundell’s Mount St John Freestyle and the exciting mare became the heir apparent to Valegro. They made their team debut at the World Equestrian Games in 2018, scoring team and individual bronze. In 2019, they were medal contenders at the European Championships but were eliminated when stewards found a trace of blood on the mare’s side following the Grand Prix. They were crowned LeMieux British National Champions at the end of 2021.

Waiting in the wings has been Gio, aka ‘Pumpkin’, a horse Charlotte discovered while delivering a clinic in America and she instantly fell in love with him and made the purchase. The ‘pocket rocket’ has an extraordinary temperament and was at Grand Prix level aged just nine and his first team appearance at ten.

Olympic record

2016 - Rio, BRA Valegro Team Silver, Individual Gold
2012 - London, GBR Valegro Team Gold, Individual Gold

International personal bests with Gio:
Grand Prix – 79.348%
Special – 81.426%
Freestyle – 84.04%