Charlotte Dujardin OBE is a British dressage rider, European Champion 2013 and was Double Gold Medalist at the London 2012 Olympics Games.
Born in Enfield, Charlotte was brought up in Hertfordshire and started riding as a two-year old. By sixteen years old, Charlotte, with the devoted backing and support of her family had won the Horse of the Year Show competition four times and was a winner at Hickstead on three occasions. After further encouragement from her trainer, Debbie Thomas, Charlotte took up dressage with a horse bought from her grandmother’s inheritance.
In February 2007, she had some lessons with legendary Carl Hester, and after ten days at his yard and spotting her talent, he offered her a job as a groom at his yard in Newent, Gloucestershire, where she has since remained. Charlotte’s horse at the time was Fernandez. From the start, Charlotte was asked to bring on the novice Dutch Warmblood gelding Valegro, owned by Hester and Roly Luard, with the intention of that horse being ridden by Hester. However, after competing in their first dressage Grand Prix event in 2011, the combination became part of the successful team, which won gold in a European Dressage Championship competition at Rotterdam.
The pair then won the FEI World Cup Grand Prix at London Olympia in 2011, setting a new World Record for the Olympic Grand Prix special scoring at 88.022%, in April 2012.
Dujardin and Valegro were selected to represent Great Britain at the London 2012 Olympic Games and in the first round the team set a new Olympic Record of 83.784%. On 7 August 2012 the pair were members of the team, which won the gold medal in the team dressage event. Two days later, in a routine accompanied by music by Tom Hunt which included Land of Hope and Glory, The Great Escape and the chimes of Big Ben; the pair won the gold medal in the individual dressage event with a score of 90.089%.
A global superstar was born….