Charlotte Dujardin and Valegro showed their supremacy at Hagen CDIO today (Sunday 29 April), breaking the world record for a Grand Prix Special test with 88.022%.
The British combination produced a superb test to win the Grand Prix Special by more than 8%. Their test sheet showed a total of 26 perfect 10s, and they received a standing ovation from the German crowd.
Charlotte and her 10-year-old Warmblood gelding beat the previous world record set by Edward Gal and Totilas back in 2010, when the Dutch pair scored 85.708% in the Grand Prix Special at the World Equestrian Games. Asked if Valegro could score even higher than the record breaking mark gained today, Charlotte answered confidently that he could.
A delighted and emotional Charlotte, 25, paid tribute to her trainer Carl Hester, who co-owns Valegro with Roly Luard.
"I had such a good ride, and I didn't even look up at the scoreboard so it wasn't until I came out of the arena and Carl told me - I just thought 'oh my God!'" explained Charlotte. "I couldn't have achieved what I have without him. I'm one of the luckiest girls in the world."
Charlotte made her Grand Prix debut on Valegro in January 2011, and just 15 months later they are beating some of the very best riders in the world.
Danish rider Anna Kasprzak finished on 79.884 to finish second on Donnperignon, while Anabel Balkenhol and Dablino were third.
Laura Bechtolsheimer was next best of the Brits in sixth place with her second string Andretti H, while Emile Faurie and Elmegardens Marquis were seventh.
In the afternoon's Grand Prix Freestyle, it was the battle of the new music routines, with Laura Bechtolsheimer and Mistral Hojris going head-to-head with Matthias Rath on Totilas.
The German pair's new kur routine featured songs by Michael Jackson including 'Beat it', 'Earth Song' and 'Heal the world', while Laura and 'Alf' rode to music from the Lion King.
It was very close, but Matthias and Totilas netted the win with 88.075%, with Laura just behind on 87.6%.
"It went really well, though some transitions were a little behind the music - but this is normal for the first time in a competition," said Matthias.
Laura also felt the timing of her new test could improve, but she is delighted with how it suits her gelding.
"I love the music, it has lots of personality. Sometimes in the past music has upset Alf and he could get hot, but he seemed to really like it," she said.
A question was put to German rider Matthias Rath about his warm-up routine. Pictures of Rath in the working-in arena had been circulated over the internet and had caused mass debate about his technique.
"I have changed Totilas' warm-up over the winter, and he produced a very good test yesterday," said Rath. "With Totilas, whatever I do people will complain about it. If I do a good test, people will always say it could be better."
The 27-year-old believes that Great Britain will be the ones to beat in London 2012.
"The British are the favourites, especially with the Games in their home country, but Germany has some really good combinations," he said.