Charlotte Dujardin

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Charlotte Dujardin
Charlotte Dujardin 2012 Olympic Dressage (cropped).JPG
in 2012
Personal information
Birth nameCharlotte Susan Jane Dujardin[1]
Full nameCharlotte Susan Jane Dujardin
Born (1985-07-13) 13 July 1985 (age 34)
Enfield, Greater London, England
ResidenceNewent, Gloucestershire, England
EducationHigh School until age 16
Height1.7 m (5 ft 7 in)
Weight61 kg (134 lb)
Country Great Britain
SportEquestrian dressage
TeamBritish Dressage Federation
Turned pro2011
Coached byCarl Hester, Ian Cast
Achievements and titles
Olympic finals2016 Summer Olympics, Gold, individual dressage
2012 Summer Olympics, Gold, team dressage
2012 Summer Olympics, Gold, individual dressage
2016 Summer Olympics, Silver, team dressage
Highest world ranking1
The gold post box for Charlotte Dujardin in Enfield.

Charlotte Susan Jane Dujardin, CBE (born 13 July 1985) is a British elite dressage rider, equestrian, and writer. The most successful British dressage rider in the history of the sport and the winner of all major titles and world records in the sport, Dujardin has been described as the dominant dressage rider of her era.[2]

Riding Valegro, Dujardin held the complete set of the available individual elite dressage titles; the individual Olympic freestyle, World freestyle and Grand Prix Special, World Cup individual dressage and European freestyle, and Grand Prix Special titles. Dujardin is the first, and to date only, rider to hold this complete set of titles at the same time.[3]

In addition, she forms part of the current Great Britain team for Team Dressage. She has also won Olympic and European Team Dressage championships with Great Britain.

With three gold medals and one silver medal, she is Great Britain's most successful Olympic equestrian.

Following the retirement of Valegro, Dujardin worked with a number of new horses. At the 2018 FEI World Equestrian Games, on new nine year old mare Mount St John Freestyle, Dujardin won bronze medals in both Team Dressage and Individual Grand Prix Spécial.

Early life[edit]

Born in Enfield, Dujardin was brought up in Leighton Buzzard, Bedfordshire, where she attended Vandyke Upper School.[4][5] She started riding as a two-year-old,[6] returning her elder sisters' horses from the show jumping ring to the horse box.[7] Aged three, she achieved second place at her first Pony Club show jumping competition.[7] To finance their hobby, their mother Jane Dujardin bought and sold ponies for her daughters to ride to enable them to continue riding.[8]

Leaving school aged 16,[9][10] Dujardin won the Horse of the Year Show competition four times and was a winner at All England Jumping Course at Hickstead on three occasions.[10][11] As a child Charlotte Dujardin was diagnosed with Dyslexia.[12]


After encouragement from her trainer Debbie Thomas,[6] Dujardin took up dressage with a horse bought from her grandmother's inheritance.[7][8] In February 2007, after she sought employment with Carl Hester,[6] he gave her some coaching. Spotting her talent, he offered her a job as a groom at his yard in Newent, Gloucestershire, where she has since remained.[13][7][9][10] Dujardin's owned-horse is Fernandez.[6]

In 2011, Dujardin was asked by Hester and co-owner Roly Luard to develop the novice Dutch Warmblood gelding Valegro,[8][14] with the intention of that horse being ridden by Hester.[13][8] However, Dujardin competed on Valegro in their first dressage Grand Prix event in 2011,[10] the combination became part of the successful team which won gold in a European Dressage Championship event at Rotterdam. The pair then won the FEI World Cup Grand Prix at London Olympia in 2011, setting a new World Record for the Olympic Grand Prix special discipline by point-scoring at 88.022%, in April 2012.[11][15][16]

In December 2012 Dujardin, again riding Valegro, won the 2012 World Cup freestyle event held at Olympia, with a score of 87.875%.[17] On 19 April 2015 in Las Vegas, Nevada, US, Dujardin and Valegro won the FEI World Cup with a score of 94.169% on the final day of competition. This was their fourth consecutive World Title; they are the only competition pair to have ever held four consecutive world titles.[18][19]


Dujardin and Valegro were among the rider/horse pairs selected to represent Great Britain at the 2012 Summer Olympics,[20] In the first round this dressage team set a new Olympic Record of 83.784%. On 7 August 2012 the pair were members of the British team which won the gold medal in the team dressage event.[21] Two days later, in a routine accompanied by music which included Land of Hope and Glory, The Great Escape and the chimes of Big Ben;[7] the pair won the gold medal in the individual dressage event, with a score of 90.089%.[22]

Dujardin and Valegro also won double individual gold medals at the 2016 Rio Olympics, making her the first British woman to retain an individual Olympic title. With three gold medals and a silver, Dujardin was briefly the most successful female British Olympian in the history of the Games before cyclist Laura Trott surpassed her record with a fourth gold. Dujardin and Valegro set a new Olympic dressage score of 93.857 in the Grand Prix Freestyle.[23]

At the 2016 Summer Olympics, Dujardin became engaged to Dean Golding. He who wore a shirt bearing the proposal "Can we get married now?" after she won the Gold medal for the Dressage section of Equestrian. [24]

On 14 December 2016, Dujardin retired Valegro at age 14 after completing a flawless freestyle test at the Olympia London International Horse Show. The event was televised live on the BBC. His final performance was followed by tributes from Carl Hester, Valegro's owner and Charlotte's trainer, and Alan Davies, Valegro's groom. Dujardin and Hester decided after the 2016 Summer Olympics that Valegro had done everything that he could have after winning 3 Olympic individual gold medals, 1 Silver team gold, and numerous world titles with Dujardin, and wanted to let him end his career on a high note. "I wanted to retire him on a high note, because he owes me absolutely nothing", Dujardin said after an interview with the BBC. [25]

Charlotte has been developing horses in lower classes of the sport, has future Grand Prix level Dressage prospects. Dujardin will continue to compete at an elite level and is aiming for the 2020 Summer Olympics. Charlotte Dujardin guest starred on the popular Netflix show Free Rein.[26]

International Championship Results[edit]

Year Event Horse Score Placing Notes
2011 European Championships Valegro 78.830% 1st, gold medalist(s) Team
76.548% 6th Individual Special
79.357% 9th Individual Freestyle
2012 Olympic Games Valegro 83.663% 1st, gold medalist(s) Team
90.089% 1st, gold medalist(s) Individual
2013 European Championships Valegro 85.942% 3rd, bronze medalist(s) Team
85.699% 1st, gold medalist(s) Individual Special
91.250% 1st, gold medalist(s) Individual Freestyle
2014 World Cup Final Valegro 92.179% 1st, gold medalist(s)
2014 World Equestrian Games Valegro 85.271% 2nd, silver medalist(s) Team
86.120% 1st, gold medalist(s) Individual Special
92.161% 1st, gold medalist(s) Individual Freestyle
2015 World Cup Final Valegro 94.196% 1st, gold medalist(s)
2015 European Championships Valegro 83.029% 2nd, silver medalist(s) Team
87.577% 1st, gold medalist(s) Individual Special
89.054% 1st, gold medalist(s) Individual Freestyle
2016 Olympic Games Valegro 85.071% 2nd, silver medalist(s) Team
93.857% 1st, gold medalist(s) Individual
2018 World Equestrian Games Mount St. John Freestyle 77.764% 3rd, bronze medalist(s) Team
81.489% 3rd, bronze medalist(s) Individual Special


Dujardin was appointed Officer of the Order of the British Empire (OBE) in the 2013 New Year Honours[27][28] and Commander of the Order of the British Empire (CBE) in the 2017 New Year Honours,[29] both for services to equestrianism.

She was voted Sportswoman of the Year after winning the FEI championship, the first dressage rider to win that title.[citation needed]

Dujardin also has a modern strip of public housing named after her in Enfield.[30]

Writing career[edit]

Charlotte Dujardin signed with Trafalgar Square Books. On 27 March 2018 Charlotte released her book "The Girl on the Dancing Horse: Charlotte Dujardin and Valegro".[31]


  • The Girl on the Dancing Horse: Charlotte Dujardin and Valegro (2018)

See also[edit]


  1. ^ "New Year's Honours list 2017" (PDF). Government Digital Service. 30 December 2016. p. 14. Retrieved 30 December 2016.
  2. ^ "Charlotte Dujardin back on top of the world as she wins grand prix special at World Equestrian Games". 27 August 2014.
  3. ^ "Wayback Machine" (PDF). 3 September 2014.
  4. ^ "Double gold medal winner is ex-Vandyke student". Leighton Buzzard Observer. Retrieved 25 August 2012.
  5. ^ Dunn, Matthew. "Charlotte Dujardin's lost days at school". Retrieved 11 August 2012.
  6. ^ a b c d Lizzy Davies (9 August 2012). "Charlotte Dujardin: gold for the woman who could make a donkey dance". The Guardian. Retrieved 9 August 2012.
  7. ^ a b c d e "London 2012 Olympics: 'I always knew she would be a star', says mother of dressage gold-winner Charlotte Dujardin". Evening Standard. 9 August 2012. Retrieved 9 August 2012.
  8. ^ a b c d "Equestrian: 'Unlikely winner' Charlotte Dujardin celebrates double gold". The Independent. 9 August 2012. Retrieved 9 August 2012.
  9. ^ a b "Charlotte Dujardin". Retrieved 7 July 2012.
  10. ^ a b c d "Charlotte Dujardin". Archived from the original on 26 July 2010. Retrieved 7 July 2012.
  11. ^ a b "London 2012: Charlotte Dujardin breaks dressage world record". BBC Sport. Retrieved 7 July 2012.
  12. ^ Redrup, Gemma (16 December 2014). "12 things you might not know about Charlotte Dujardin". Horse & Hound.
  13. ^ a b Knight, Sam (8 August 2016). "The Duo That Dominates Dressage". The New Yorker. Retrieved 4 August 2016.
  14. ^ "BLG 1965, LUARD formerly of Blyborough". Burkes Peerage. Retrieved 21 August 2012.
  15. ^ "Dujardin and Valegro take 2012CDA Hagen Grand Prix for special by storm". Retrieved 7 July 2012.
  16. ^ "Charlotte Dujardin triumphs in FEI World Cup grand prix". BBC Sport. Retrieved 7 July 2012.
  17. ^ "Charlotte Dujardin wins World Cup freestyle in Olympia". BBC Sport. Retrieved 19 December 2012.
  18. ^ "GBR Dujardin, Charlotte" (PDF). Retrieved 27 August 2016.
  19. ^ "Horses, Dressage & More". Dressage Daily News.
  20. ^ "London 2012: Dressage riders Bechtolsheimer and Dujardin selected for Team GB". Retrieved 7 July 2012.
  21. ^ "Olympics equestrian: 20 gold medals for GB with dressage win". BBC Sport. Archived from the original on 8 August 2012. Retrieved 7 August 2012.
  22. ^ "Olympics equestrian: Charlotte Dujardin wins second dressage gold". BBC Sport. 9 August 2012. Archived from the original on 9 August 2012. Retrieved 9 August 2012.
  23. ^ "Dujardin and Her Horse with a Heart of Gold Do It Again, Olympic Individual Gold". 15 August 2016. Retrieved 27 August 2016.
  24. ^ Rio 2016: Top quotes from the Olympic Games, ABC News Online, 23 August 2016
  25. ^ "Valegro: Charlotte Dujardin's gold-winning mount is retired". 14 December 2016 – via
  26. ^ Charlotte Dujardin to appear in children’s TV show
  27. ^ "No. 60367". The London Gazette (Supplement). 29 December 2012. p. 24.
  28. ^ "2013 New Year's Honours" (PDF). Retrieved 29 December 2012.
  29. ^ "No. 61803". The London Gazette (Supplement). 31 December 2016. p. N8.
  30. ^ "Dujardin Mews".
  31. ^ Bryan, Polly (24 February 2018). "Charlotte Dujardin's autobiography: an informal 'chat' with the Olympic champion". Horse & Hound.

External links[edit]