Dujardin not feeling Olympics pressure
May 23, 2012 15:54 pm
Charlotte Dujardin insists worry and stress will not be on her agenda as she builds towards what should be the most successful Olympic Games in British dressage history.
Dujardin, Carl Hester and Laura Bechtolsheimer were part of Great Britain's European title-winning team last August. The trio are all currently world-ranked top five riders but the 25-year-old Dujardin is determined to treat London as "just another show," despite feverish expectation surrounding British hopes.
"The Olympics is just another show," she said, during a break in training at Hester's impressive facilities just outside Newent. "Obviously, it would be amazing if I won a gold medal, but I don't want to over-think it and start putting pressure on myself."
Dujardin recently broke the grand prix special world record with an astonishing score of more than 88% aboard the brilliant Olympics prospect Valegro that Hester jointly owns. She has remarkably gone from grand prix debutant to world record holder in 15 months, but she is determined that inevitable pre-London hype does not engulf her.
"We have an amazing team and a really strong chance, but what is the point worrying and stressing? All you can do is to do your best," she added.
"It would be amazing to be selected for London. The Olympics has always been my dream, and to be able to ride on the same team as Carl would be fantastic. Fingers-crossed, we get there."
Dujardin enjoyed a successful showing career before turning to dressage, winning major titles at the Horse of the Year Show and Hickstead, but she has not looked back since linking up with Hester and believes she has found the perfect horse in Valegro.
She said. "Touch wood, he (Valegro) seems to be a horse that always works with me and I never come out of a test and feel disappointed with him.
"I saw Valegro as a four-year-old. I remember a girl riding him called Lucy Cartwright, and it was unbelievable what they were doing. I then managed to get the ride one day, and I never seemed to get off him. I was so lucky. I remember the first time I rode him, the power was amazing.
"Carl has always said the horse is a genius, and that he has already read the dressage dictionary. He has been an unbelievable horse to train. Last year, he was only nine, and look what he did. When I did my first grand prix I didn't really know what I was doing, but he just took everything in his stride. He has coped with it all so well."
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