Friday, 6. October 2023

Dressage Olympic gold-medallist, Charlotte Dujardin, impresses with her live training session at the CHIO Aachen CAMPUS

It was educational, enjoyable and very entertaining: The British dressage rider, Charlotte Dujardin, gave insights into her trusted training philosophy for the first time at the grounds of the CHIO Aachen CAMPUS and enchanted the spectators in the Deutsche Bank Stadium with her charming, humorous and inspiring manner.

She is the most successful British dressage rider of all time, the world records she has set in the Grand Prix, Grand Prix Special and Grand Prix Freestyle are unbeaten through to this very day: However, Charlotte Dujardin is not only well-known for her great victories, but especially for her sensitive style of riding. The three-time Olympic gold medallist rides and schools her horses in a very special way so that true partnerships arise. After her recent maternity leave, she also impressively demonstrated precisely this with her just, ten-year-old, Dutch-bred gelding, Imhotep, whom she recently came under the top 3 with in the Deutsche Bank Prize at the CHIO Aachen. Shortly afterwards the pair picked up three medals at the European Championships in Riesenbeck. But what is her secret? A question that not only the approx. 800 spectators in the Deutsche Bank Stadium posed, but also the aspiring, young rider, Moritz Treffinger. He was one of the lucky candidates, who was able to enjoy a live coaching session with the 38-year-old. “I was really nervous,” admitted Treffinger, who took part in the Grand Prix block of the training sessions. The 20-year-old, who recently joined the Bonhomme Stud as a professional rider, had saddled the experienced Grand Prix crack, Fiderdance, who he has only been riding for a few months. Fiderdance had previously already helped Lena Hassmann and the Australian, Simone Pearce, to international success. “This was our first public appearance,” stated Treffinger. “It was great fun. Now I am looking forward to putting Charlotte’s tips into practice at home.”

And he received plenty of them in the course of the evening. In the scope of the hosted live training, Charlotte Dujardin gave detailed insights into her daily work with horses and demonstrated what she places particular importance on and which clever methods she uses to improve individual movements. “I love explaining what I do and how I do it,” the young mother explained. “For me training each horse is a new exciting journey and that is also what makes my work so special.“ In addition to advanced and Grand Prix level movements, she demonstrated what is particularly important in her work with her sports partner, the horse, in the scope of the theme blocks, Young Horses and Basic Groundwork. For her this also includes catering to each individual horse’s needs. For example, her current top horse, Imhotep, is kept out at grass 24 hours a day, seven days a week. “He lives out at grass together with a friend and that does him good,” was Dujardin’s simple explanation when interviewed by Christoph Hess. The Training Ambassador of the German Equestrian Federation (FN) was visibly impressed by the performance of the British medal-winner. “This really is training par excellence,” stated the 73-year-old, who truly has had the opportunity to assess many dressage riders up close over the years.

An impression that was unreservedly shared by the spectators in the Deutsche Bank Stadium. Directly recognisable progress, for instance as in the case of the young Norwegian rider, Celina Bodstangen, and her six-year-old gelding, Garland de Fontaine, were repeatedly rewarded with applause from the crowd. And after good four and a half hours Charlotte Dujardin received standing ovations and ultimately raved, “I have given Masterclasses in many places in the world, but not in Germany before. It is always a great honour and privilege to be in Aachen. Alongside the championships, the CHIO Aachen is always the highlight of the year for us riders. Being able to pass on my knowledge here was simply fantastic.”

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