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Charlotte Dujardin and Alive And Kicking dance to gala evening glory

  • Charlotte Dujardin and Alive And Kicking delighted crowds on gala night (9 July) at the NAF Hartpury Five Star Festival of Dressage to seal young horse prix st george championship glory with another exciting gem from her diamond mine of stable stars.

    Charlotte and her own eight-year-old mare headed the results in a class filled with rising talent with an enormous 79.17%.

    This was the third ever test for the pair as a combination, who were drawn last to go in Saturday’s final following their win in Thursday’s qualifier on a score of 75.88%.

    Record producer Tony Hobden of Equidance live DJ-ed for each of the eight combinations, with Charlotte’s music featuring nods to her famous How to Train your Dragon soundtrack.

    This cute eight-year-old mare lit up Hartpury’s indoor arena with her infectious energy and enthusiasm. The duo trended around 75% for their smart trot work, but it was this mare’s canter that really stood out. They were rewarded with a strong dollop of 8.5s, 9s, and even a 9.5 for their canter pirouettes, which receive double marks in this test.

    “She’s a really cool little horse,” said Charlotte, who has owned the All At Once daughter, out of a Furst Piccolo mare, since the horse was four years old.

    “I got her from Sweden and bought her off a video without trying her. She was a horse that I saw and I just loved, so I took the risk and got her.

    “Young rider Charlie McDowall has been riding her for me, just because I’ve had so many and she wanted to campaign for young riders. So I said, ‘Well, why don’t you have a go on her?’”

    She added: “It’s great to give Charlie those opportunities and it’s nice to see the talent coming through.”

    Charlotte added she was “really proud” of the “very talented mare”.

    “I would really like to now try and get her to grand prix,” Charlotte told the audience. “She’s a very, very talented mare and I hope to do inter II next year and maybe Charlie could do some U25s because [this is] her last year at young riders, so let’s see how it goes.”

    Becky Moody and Jack Diamond, owned by Jo Cooper, were second on 76.28%, with Katie Bailey and the nine-year-old Izonik third on 73.09%.

    “What makes him really exciting is his ability to compress and open up, because he is such a big horse,” said Becky.

    Germany’s Katleen Kroencke and San Royal, owned by K&N Stables Ltd, lead the march in the CDI3* freestyle, taking top honours on 77.36%. Gareth Hughes and KK Woodstock, who he co-owns with the Krolls, were best of the Brits in second on 75.24%.

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