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Charlotte Dujardin
CBE
Charlotte Dujardin 2012 Olympic Dressage (cropped).JPG
in 2012
Personal information
Birth name Charlotte Susan Jane Dujardin
Full name Charlotte Susan Jane Dujardin
Nickname(s) "Edwina"
Nationality British
Born 13 July 1985 (1985-07-13) (age 36)
Enfield, Greater London, England
Residence Newent, Gloucestershire, England
Education High School until age 16
Height 1.7 m
Weight 61 kg
Website charlottedujardin.co.uk
Sport
Country  Great Britain
Sport Equestrian dressage
Team British Dressage Federation
Turned pro 2011
Coached by Carl Hester, Ian Cast
Achievements and titles
Olympic finals 2016 Summer Olympics, Gold, individual dressage
2012 Summer Olympics, Gold, team dressage
2012 Summer Olympics, Gold, individual dressage
2016 Summer Olympics, Silver, team dressage
Highest world ranking 1
Gold post box Enfield Charlotte Dujardin
The gold post box for Charlotte Dujardin in Enfield.

Charlotte Susan Jane Dujardin, CBE (born 13 July 1985) is a British dressage rider, equestrian, and writer. The most successful British dressage rider in the history of the sport and the winner of all major titles and world records in the sport, Dujardin has been described as the dominant dressage rider of her era.

Riding Valegro, Dujardin held the complete set of the available individual elite dressage titles; the individual Olympic freestyle, World freestyle and Grand Prix Special, World Cup individual dressage and European freestyle, and Grand Prix Special titles. Dujardin is the first, and to date only, rider to hold this complete set of titles at the same time.

In addition, she forms part of the current Great Britain team for Team Dressage. She has also won Olympic and European Team Dressage championships with Great Britain.

With three gold medals and one silver medal, she is Great Britain's most successful Olympic equestrian.

Following the retirement of Valegro, Dujardin worked with a number of new horses. At the 2018 FEI World Equestrian Games, on new nine-year old mare Mount St John Freestyle, Dujardin won bronze medals in both Team Dressage and Individual Grand Prix Spécial.

Early life

Born in Enfield, Dujardin was brought up in Leighton Buzzard, Bedfordshire, where she attended Vandyke Upper School. She started riding as a two-year-old, returning her elder sisters' horses from the show jumping ring to the horse box. Aged three, she achieved second place at her first Pony Club show jumping competition. To finance their hobby, their mother Jane Dujardin bought and sold ponies for her daughters to ride to enable them to continue riding.

Leaving school aged 16, Dujardin won the Horse of the Year Show competition four times and was a winner at All England Jumping Course at Hickstead on three occasions. As a child Dujardin was diagnosed with dyslexia.

Career

After encouragement from her trainer Debbie Thomas, Dujardin took up dressage with a horse bought from her grandmother's inheritance. In February 2007, after she sought employment with Carl Hester, he gave her some coaching. Spotting her talent, he offered her a job as a groom at his yard in Newent, Gloucestershire, where she has since remained. Dujardin's owned-horse is Fernandez.

In 2011, Dujardin was asked by Hester and co-owner Roly Luard to develop the novice Dutch Warmblood gelding Valegro, with the intention of that horse being ridden by Hester. However, Dujardin competed on Valegro 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 event 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 discipline by point-scoring at 88.022%, in April 2012.

In December 2012 Dujardin, again riding Valegro, won the 2012 World Cup freestyle event held at Olympia, with a score of 87.875%. On 19 April 2015 in Las Vegas, Nevada, US, Dujardin and Valegro won the FEI World Cup with a score of 94.169% on the final day of competition. This was their fourth consecutive World Title; they are the only competition pair to have ever held four consecutive world titles.

Olympics

Dujardin and Valegro were among the rider/horse pairs selected to represent Great Britain at the 2012 Summer Olympics, In the first round this dressage team set a new Olympic Record of 83.784%. On 7 August 2012 the pair were members of the British team which won the gold medal in the team dressage event. Two days later, in a routine accompanied by music 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%.

Dujardin and Valegro also won double individual gold medals at the 2016 Rio Olympics, making her the first British woman to retain an individual Olympic title. With three gold medals and a silver, Dujardin was briefly the most successful female British Olympian in the history of the Games before cyclist Laura Trott surpassed her record with a fourth gold. Dujardin and Valegro set a new Olympic dressage score of 93.857 in the Grand Prix Freestyle.

At the 2016 Summer Olympics, Dujardin became engaged to Dean Golding. He who wore a shirt bearing the proposal "Can we get married now?" after she won the Gold medal for the Dressage section of Equestrian.

On 14 December 2016, Dujardin retired Valegro at age 14 after completing a flawless freestyle test at the Olympia London International Horse Show. The event was televised live on the BBC. His final performance was followed by tributes from Carl Hester, Valegro's owner and Charlotte's trainer, and Alan Davies, Valegro's groom. Dujardin and Hester decided after the 2016 Summer Olympics that Valegro had done everything that he could have after winning 3 Olympic Gold medals (2 individual & 1 team), 1 Silver team gold, and numerous world titles with Dujardin, and wanted to let him end his career on a high note. "I wanted to retire him on a high note, because he owes me absolutely nothing", Dujardin said after an interview with the BBC.

Charlotte has been developing horses in lower classes of the sport, has future Grand Prix level Dressage prospects. Dujardin will continue to compete at an elite level and is aiming for the 2020 Summer Olympics. Charlotte Dujardin guest starred on the Netflix show Free Rein.

International Championship results

Results
Year Event Horse Score Placing Notes
2011 European Championships Valegro 78.830% 1 Team
76.548% 6th Individual Special
79.357% 9th Individual Freestyle
2012 Olympic Games Valegro 83.663% 1 Team
90.089% 1 Individual
2013 European Championships Valegro 85.942% 3 Team
85.699% 1 Individual Special
91.250% 1 Individual Freestyle
2014 World Cup Final Valegro 92.179% 1
2014 World Equestrian Games Valegro 85.271% 2 Team
86.120% 1 Individual Special
92.161% 1 Individual Freestyle
2015 World Cup Final Valegro 94.196% 1
2015 European Championships Valegro 83.029% 2 Team
87.577% 1 Individual Special
89.054% 1 Individual Freestyle
2016 Olympic Games Valegro 85.071% 2 Team
93.857% 1 Individual
2018 World Equestrian Games Mount St. John Freestyle 77.764% 3 Team
81.489% 3 Individual Special
2019 European Championships Mount St. John Freestyle EL 4th Team
66th Individual

Honours

Dujardin was appointed Officer of the Order of the British Empire (OBE) in the 2013 New Year Honours and Commander of the Order of the British Empire (CBE) in the 2017 New Year Honours, both for services to equestrianism.

She was voted Sportswoman of the Year after winning the FEI championship, the first dressage rider to win that title.

Dujardin also has a modern strip of public housing named after her in Enfield.

Writing career

Charlotte Dujardin signed with Trafalgar Square Books. On 27 March 2018 Charlotte released her book "The Girl on the Dancing Horse: Charlotte Dujardin and Valegro".

Writings

  • The Girl on the Dancing Horse: Charlotte Dujardin and Valegro (2018)
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