Rio Olympics 2016 - Carl Hester's Plan For Charlotte's Final Olympic Ride on Valegro

Sunday, August 14, 2016
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Christ the Redeemer in Rio

Christ the Redeemer in Rio

Carl Hester, Dressage Team member and co-owner of Valegro who also trains the other riders on the Silver Medal British team, has a special plan to ensure Dujardin successfully defends her title. "I'm taking her to Christ the Redeemer tomorrow to pray for Monday," he said. With two days off after the team competition, there was some down time for competitors who made it to the beach and did a little touring, all in the team spirit, and that is exactly what they did.

Charlotte Dujardin and Valegro

Dujardin Charlotte, GBR, Valegro
Olympic Games Rio 2016
Photo © Hippo Foto - Dirk Caremans

The reigning European, world and Olympic champion holds the world records in all three tests, the Grand Prix, the Grand Prix special and the Grand Prix freestyle. But just one little miscue in the left half pass allowed German dominator Isabelle Werth to top her 83.025% result with an 83.711.

“I was just a bit disappointed in myself,” Dujardin said. “He felt on such good form. It happens. It’s dressage and he’s a horse and he’s allowed to make mistakes, though I’ll blame myself. It just makes you more determined. It makes you feel like you want to fight harder. It’s kind of given me that wake-up call to get myself in gear and off I go again. Fingers crossed, it will all go to plan.”

Werth said: “Charlotte made a mistake today. I’m sure she won’t make a mistake on Monday.”

It is going to be a Gold Medal showdown with Charlotte and the beloved Valegro, undisputedly the greatest dressage horse of all time, and the determined and brilliant Isabelle Werth whose Team Gold tied compatriot the late Dr. Reiner Klimke for 5 Olympic Gold medals and a total of 9.

Isabelle Werth (GER)

Isabelle Werth (GER)

If she wins on Monday, it will make her the most medaled rider in Equestrian sport. "It's great to have another gold medal of course, that's why we came here, to win. But to work with horses and to win with three different horses, that makes me really happy and proud, that's what I work for day by day."

Werth said: “Charlotte made a mistake today. I’m sure she won’t make a mistake on Monday.”

So it was off to Christ the Redeemer on their day off of competition for teammates Charlotte Dujardin, Hester, and  Fiona Bigwood and Spencer Wilton for a day at the beach and a visit to Rio's top sight seeing attraction for some help.