Charlotte Dujardin

Enfield-born dressage rider Charlotte Dujardin, 36, has the distinction of being the second most successful British female Olympian in history. At the 2020 Summer Olympics – which were, of course, postponed until 2021 – she won bronze in team and individual dressage aboard Gio, whom she co-owned, at the Baji Koen Equestrian Park in Tokyo to take her medal tally to six. Cyclist Dame Laura Kenny has also won six Olympic medals, but has two more golds than Dujardin.

Dujardin joined international dressage rider and trainer Judy Harvey straight from school and, in 2007, almost by accident, formed a partnership with five-time Olympian Carl Hester at his yard near Newent, Gloucestershire. Hester became her mentor, giving her the ride on Valegro, the horse aboard whom she would enjoy her finest hour at the 2012 Summer Olympics in London. At Greenwich Park, Dujardin, alongside Hester and Laura Tomlinson (née Bechtolsheimer), won gold in team dressage and, two days later, won gold again in individual dressage.

Dujardin and Valegro continued to prosper, winning individual gold medals at the European Dressage Championships in 2013 and 2014, gold medals in both Grand Prix Special and Grand Prix Freestyle at the World Equestrian Games in 2014 and the World Cup Dressage Final in 2014 and 2015. At the 2016 Summer Olympics in Rio de Janeiro, the pair defended their individual dressage title and won silver in team dressage.

Valegro was retired from competition in December, 2016, following an emotional farewell performance at the London International Horse Show at Olympia. Dujardin, for her part, was awarded an OBE for services to equestrianism in 2013 and was further honoured with a CBE in 2017.

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