Dujardin steals the show in the Grand Prix

The Olympic, World and European gold medallist proved unbeatable at today's I.C.E. Horseboxes All England Dressage Festival 

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Charlotte Dujardin was on dominant form at the I.C.E. Horseboxes All England Dressage Festival at Hickstead, with a one-two finish in today’s feature class.

Riding her European Championships partner Imhotep, Charlotte took an impressive early lead in The Swan Inn, Fittleworth CDI3* Grand Prix, with a score of 80.870%. Carl Hester and last year’s Hickstead Grand Prix winner Fame went into second place with 76.239%, until Charlotte and her second ride Alive And Kicking sneaked ahead with 77.370%, relegating Carl to third.  

“I’ve had a great two rides, with Imhotep getting back on track with his 80 [percent] and a clear round,” said Charlotte. “Alive And Kicking has only done four Grands Prix so she’s very inexperienced but I’m really happy.”

Asked how it felt to finish ahead of her friend and mentor, Charlotte commented: “I’m absolutely thrilled. I wouldn’t be where I am today without Carl so it’s great to have him here by my side, but it’s brilliant to beat him on both my horses, I’m not going to lie!”

Carl added: "At this moment we're all desperately trying to do the best we can and get good scores with Paris coming up. It's been a wonderful day - to have weather like this and rides like this, it's what dreams are made of." 

Earlier, Charlotte’s pupil Annabella Pidgley scored a win in the opening international class of the show, the Horse & Country CDI1* Prix St Georges. Riding the 10-year-old mare Espe, Annabella scored 72.706% to take the win. “It’s great to be back at Hickstead, the atmosphere here today in the sunshine is just amazing, and Espe was super and I’m really pleased with her,” said Annabella.

In the Horse & Country CDI Young Riders test, Hermione Tottman topped the leader board with the 16-year-old gelding, Exquisite on a score of 69.941%. “I was really happy with him, he gave me a great feeling in the arena. I want to keep on improving this year, and keep gaining experience,” said Hermione, whose next goal is to break the elusive 70% barrier.

In the Premier League tests, Michael Eilberg had a successful day, winning the Fairfax Saddles FEI Prix St Georges with MSJ Encore, and then having a one-two finish in the Stübben Premier League FEI Intermediate II with Dante VX and Figlio.

Matt Frost was the winner of the Bret Wilson Premier League Advanced Medium test, with the eight-year-old Lemmo. Their score of 72.393% put them nearly two percent clear of the second placed combination, Jezz Palmer and Romanno Weltino.

For full results click here.

The I.C.E. Horseboxes All England Dressage Festival takes place at Hickstead (7-12 May) with free admission and parking for spectators. Don't miss the exclusive Masterclass with Gareth Hughes on Saturday evening. Watch the livestream on Horse & Country TV. Sign up to our newsletter here.

 

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