Gold Medal Olympian, Charlotte Dujardin has been eliminated at the European Dressage Championships in Rotterdam. Charlotte was riding Mount St John Freestyle for Great Britain in the Team Grand Prix and had scored a personal best of 81.91% which put the team team in silver medal position behind Germany before she was eliminated.
Following their test, during the routine post-test inspection, it was found that a small trace of blood was on the flank of Mount St John Freestyle. Under FEI rules any blood found on the horse during inspection means eliminations. Charlotte’s elimination means that Team GB have slipped out of the medals into fourth place.
Chef de Mission for Great Britain, Vikki Underwood, commented: “This is extremely difficult because in Britain we pride ourselves on our animal welfare. Charlotte is one of our most respected and talented athletes, who dearly loves her horses, but she would not hesitate to accept this decision. It takes a great deal of teamwork to get the horses and riders to a championship, and all the connections will be devastated, but the horse is fit and well and will contest many more championships. This obviously means the end of the European Championships for Charlotte and Freestyle, but she’ll be with us cheering on the remaining three combinations.”
Charlotte Dujardin said: “I’m obviously absolutely devastated – nothing like this has ever happened to me before. The health and welfare of my horses is always my number one priority, but of course I accept the decision.” The owners of Mount St John Freestyle Emma and Jill Blundell have also commented “We fully support Charlotte. Today’s was a great performance, but we accept the decision. We know how seriously Charlotte takes the welfare of our horse and we’re proud to have her ride for us.”
THEx wish the rest of the team the best of luck with the Grand Prix special which takes place on Thursday.