New York, NY - The second-annual Rolex Central Park Horse Show wrapped with a day of equestrian demonstrations and family-friendly fun on Sunday. Number-one dressage rider in the world Charlotte Dujardin took to Wollman Rink aboard Evi Strasser's Renaissance Tyme, along with Olympian and United States Dressage Federation Hall of Fame Member Robert Dover for a Master's Class, presented by The Chronicle of the Horse and Breyer.
Dujardin guided spectators and viewers tuning in via live stream through her process of warming up, schooling and cooling down her horses with commentary from herself and Dover.
Dujardin had only sat on Renaissance Tyme, a 12-year-old German-bred Oldenburg gelding, twice before Sunday's exhibition, including a performance in Saturday night's U.S. Open $75,000 Dressage Freestyle, presented by Axel Johnson Group, at the Rolex Central Park Horse Show.
"I hope you all can appreciate after two times riding this horse Charlotte is able to get on and beautifully show this animal how she works," said Dover. "The training is so secure that the end result is what you see with Valegro and the other horses she rides."
According to Dujardin, when riding someone else's horse, keying into how that rider rides is the hardest part. While continuing to learn more about Renaissance Tyme, she demonstrated Grand Prix movements and shared her philosophies on the development of each gait, transitions and more. "What you see as the end result in dressage is years and years of training," she said. "It's a bit like gymnastics with a horse."
While Dujardin boasts Olympic, FEI World Equestrian Games and European Championship gold medals to her credit, her message to spectators was focused on the well-being of her horse, as well as establishing a solid foundation for success.
"It's like building a house; if you have a bad foundation, you'll have a bad house. If you have bad basics on a horse, you're going to run into problems," she said. "It's so important that these horses enjoy every day of their work. I hack my horses on the road, they all go outside and have a normal life, even Valegro. We don't wrap them up in cotton wool."
For more information, visit www.centralparkhorseshow.com