Charlotte Dujardin enjoyed a double success on day two of The Equerry Bolesworth International Horse Show as she one again underlined her rich vein of equine talent.
The double Olympic dressage champion got Thursday off to a flying start when she showcased the quality of Mount St John Freestyle in the Churchill Retirement Living Prix St Georges Invitational.
And then she followed it up by winning the seven-year-old championship on Florentina IV, winning both classes in emphatic fashion.
“It has been really good. I am really happy,” she said. “A massive thank you to Bolesworth for holding such a great show at such a great venue.
“Having some up and coming horses that probably maybe haven’t experienced big atmospheres or crowds has been great. We’ve ticked some boxes in terms of their experience, which has been brilliant.
“It is really exciting. I am hoping Mount St John Freestyle will be a horse for next year – I am aiming her for the World Equestrian Games – and the future is so bright for Florentina. I feel so lucky to have so many up and coming youngsters.
“So many people said after Valegro (her Olympic gold medal-winning horse) that they thought it would be the last of me, but I always knew I had these horses sat at home. It has been absolutely fantastic this year.
“I just wanted an easier year where I could just focus on all my up and coming horses.”
Dujardin has high hopes for Mount St John Freestyle, which is making rapid strides towards grand prix level, and their performance in the morning sunshine did nothing to dampen enthusiasm.
Drawn last to go, Dujardin cajoled an outstanding performance from her ride, posting a score of 77.193 per cent to win by more than 11 per cent from runner-up Annie Rawlins, on Donja, with Levi Hunt taking third aboard Abbey Tiron.
Bolesworth’s five-year-old championship, sponsored by Knowsley Safari Park, went to Lincolnshire rider Amy Woodhead, who proved a cut above the rest with MSJ Zonetta, gaining a score of 80 per cent.
Reflecting on her performance, Woodhead said: “I am absolutely thrilled. She is a lovely mare who is still very green, and we came here just to give her a nice time in the arena, and she went in and really performed.
“These classes are great for general experience for the horses. Some horses soak it up, and she feels like one of those horses.”
The battle for second and third places proved much closer, with Jayden Brown and MSJ Fascinate posting 75.2 per cent, which shaded Becky Moody and Heavenly Kiss BS into the final podium place, just 0.2 of a percentage mark behind.
The six-year-old championship, sponsored by Cool Equestrian, saw Woodhead back in action, this time with MSJ Fustin Fugger, but it was not to be on this occasion as Tom Goode and Saint Julian took top honours.
Their score of 82.2 per cent secured victory over Jayden Brown and MSJ Top Secret, who had to be content with another runners-up spot, and third place went to Tim Heappey with Tantoni Dallaglio.
“It has been a great day,” Goode said. “The horse performed really well in what was a big atmosphere for him. We’ve had him since November.
“The good horses have to be able to cope, and you really know what type of horse you’ve got when they perform.”
The young horse events then drew to a close with the seven-year-old showcase, sponsored by Bluemantle, and Dujardin finished the day as she had started it, this time guiding Florentina IV to a comprehensive triumph.