Charlotte Dujardin was born on the 13th of July 1985 in Enfield. She started riding at the young age of two and tried dressage for the first time aged 13. Coming from a modest background Dujardin found it difficult in the beginning competing in the dressage world. She bought her first Grand Prix horse using the money left to her from her grandmother in 2013.
In 2011 Dujardin was asked by the British Olympic rider Carl Hester to bring on a novice Dutch Warmblood gelding named Valegro. The original plan was for Hester to ride Valegro, however Dujardin was so skilled at riding him she remained riding him under Hester’s guidance.
The 2012 games in London were a shining point for Dujardin and Valegro. Here they achieved a team dressage gold and an individual gold. This year was the start of Dujardin’s amazing dressage career having competed and shone in both the Grand Prix and the Olympics.
In the following years Dujardin and Valegro’s partnership went from strength to strength. Together they collected several medals in different international competitions becoming the world’s No1. She and Valegro grew to hold every record score in the discipline, having 87.46% in Grand Prix set in 2014, 88.022% Grand Prix Special in 2012, and 94.3% in Grand Prix Freestyle in 2014.
In Rio 2016 Dujardin and Valegro continued their streak of victories. Even though Britain was unable to retain the title of the Grand Prix Special, Dujardin performed beautifully in the Grand Prix Freestyle achieving a score of 93.857%.
Currently Dujardin is working towards developing the mount that will take her to Tokyo in 2020 as she is determined to retain her position at the pinnacle of her sport.
The 10 Best Quotes From Charlotte Dujardin
- You can’t be afraid of the power. You need to use it.
- I went in there and I thought – you know what, I can do this.
- You have to be brave as a rider. You have to see how far you can go.
- Every transition you ride at home has to be a good one.
- If you make a mistake, you’ve got to correct it straight away, not leave it until you’re half-way around the arena.
- I get fan mail every day and people telling me how I’ve inspired them to pick up riding – I think oh, poor husbands!
- You keep going, don’t you. You always want to do better.
- You always learn small things from each person, just by watching. Everybody does everything slightly different.
On hard work
- It’s all hard work and there’s no getting away with anything, I can promise you.
- Every horse is different. I love getting to work out a horse, its personality, the way it thinks, its sensitivity, everything!
On understanding a horse.
- Trying to figure out a horse is like a puzzle – bit by bit you build it up and its so rewarding when you get to that top level.