British Dressage star Charlotte Dujardin debuted a brand new freestyle dressage routine on Saturday night - and scored a record breaking 90.65%.
Competing in the Saturday evening Gala performance at Hartpury CDI3* in Gloucestershire, Charlotte and Valegro's new kur was highly anticipated - and it more than lived up to expectations.
The pair was given a standing ovation following the test, and when the scores came in they had become the first ever British combination to break the 90% barrier in international competition.
Charlotte won by nearly 15% from Canada’s Ashley Holzer with Breaking Dawn (75.925%) in second, with Michael Eilberg and Half Moon Delphi third (72.05%) on the horse’s freestyle debut.
The Tom Hunt-composed patriotic music score had the crowd captivated as Charlotte and Valegro put in a mistake-free test.
Pirouettes to the chimes of Big Ben and piaffe to the theme tune of ‘The Great Escape’ were among the highlights.
Four of the five judges awarded artistic marks of over 93%, including a 97% from Eduard De Wolff Van Westerorode (NED) at B while Poland’s Wojteck Markowski awarded one of his highest ever scores from C.
British ‘O’ judge Andrew Gardner, who judged at M, exuded praise on the duo after the test. “It was breath taking. For a judge to be able to award a ten for such a range of movements from piaffe to extended trot endorses the calibre of the talent that we have in front of us. It was an absolute privilege to give so many tens,” he said.
Charlotte’s mentor and trainer Carl Hester was delighted with his protégée’s work. “They nailed it! All the practice at home has paid off and I feel we have a true Olympic calibre freestyle that the whole nation can be proud of. Tom has done an amazing job with the music and Charlotte and I just love it. There’s a little bit more tweaking to be done but roll on Greenwich – we’ll be ready.”