Charlotte Dujardin enjoys a flying start at the festival

Charlotte Dujardin enjoyed a successful opening day at the Festival of Dressage with two wins in the Prix St Georges (Class 1B) and the Intermediate II.

Partnered by Mount St John Valencia, Charlotte opened her account on a busy week with an impressive score of 76.01%  in the PSG before continuing the trend by scoring 76.93% in the Intermediate II with Gio – whom she co-owns with Renai Hart.

Gio was purchased two-and-a-half years ago by Dujardin, who spotted the gelding in a clinic. At the time, he was ridden by the Croatian Grand Prix rider Amelie Kovac. Dujardin then successfully started him in a number of young horse classes.

Emma Blundell, owner of the Mount St John Stud said “Valencia was pleasing in the arena today and we are very happy overall. There were just one or two blips in the flying changes but as a combination they are still getting to know each other. Valencia is an exciting horse”.

Looking ahead to Mount St John Freestyle later in the week, Emma added “Freestyle is in great form and it’s very exciting to be coming here with her own music. We can’t wait to see how she gets on”.

The first day saw a glittering field of para dressage too with the CPEDI3* competition taking place just over twelve months away from the Tokyo 2020 Paralympic Games.

Brazil had a good day overall with Sergio Oliva, double bronze medallist from Rio 2016, earning a leading score of 72.786% in the FEI Para Team Test Grade I.

“I am delighted with my horse, Coco Chanel M” said Sergio.

“We are now focusing on getting better and better, making improvements to our performance and aiming for Tokyo in 2020” he added.

Fellow countryman Rodolpho Riskalla and T Don Henrico also put in an impressive performance in the FEI Para Team Test Grade IV to score 72.4%.

In the FEI Para Team Test Grade II, Britain’s Georgia Wilson and Midnight Z put in an impressive performance to score 74.273%, while compatriots Suzanna Hext and Abira, and Lee Pearson and Styletta scored 72.121% and 69.939% respectively.

The best score in the FEI Para Team Test Grade V came courtesy of Britain’s Sophie Wells who scored 75.302% with C Fatal Attraction. Belgium’s Michele George and Best of 8 denied Sophie a one-two by posting a score of 72.512%, ahead of Sophie’s other ride Diadeem who had to settle for a third placing on 69.721%.

In the FEI Para Team Test Grade III, a best score Britain’s Erin Orford and Dior posted a score of 69.324%. One of two representatives from the United States, Rebecca Hart, finished in second place on 68.735%. Hart, who won a silver and a bronze at last year’s World Equestrian Games (WEG) was partnered by El Corona Texel.

Follow all the action across social media using the hashtag #HartpuryFOD.

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