The Girl on the Dancing Horse

The Girl on the Dancing Horse : Charlotte Dujardin and Valegro

4.54 (116 ratings by Goodreads)
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'Refreshingly honest [...] a highly enjoyable, fascinating read.' Horse and Hound

"To ride into that arena, next to a sea of British flags and hear the roar of clapping and cheering, was so exciting. It's a sound I will never, ever forget."

Charlotte Dujardin and her charismatic horse Valegro burst onto the international sports scene with their record-breaking performance at the London, 2012 Olympics. The world was captivated by the young woman with the dazzling smile and her dancing horse.

But no one quite knew what it took to get there, nor how hard the path to success would be - until now. Dujardin began riding horses at the age of two, but dressage was firmly the domain of the wealthy, not the life of a girl from a middle-class family. Her parents sacrificed all and with a undeterred focus, Charlotte left school at 16 to follow her dream. When she was invited to be a groom for the British Olympian Carl Hester, she began to ride Valegro, a dark bay gelding and an unbreakable bond was formed.

This is their incredible story.
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Product details

  • Hardback | 272 pages
  • 162 x 240 x 29mm | 513g
  • Preface Publishing
  • London, United Kingdom
  • English
  • 1848095082
  • 9781848095083
  • 40,811

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An outsider, an unconventional horse, and the incredible bond that took them to the top.

Greenwich 2012, the Olympic games in London. Charlotte Dujardin enters the equestrian ring riding the Dutch warmblood Valegro for the individual dressage event. Working through a series of intricate movements, they have the audience spellbound. Just over 6 minutes later and the pair had delivered a routine with a score of 90.089%. It was an Olympic record and only the third score in history over 90 per cent. The world was captivated.

Charlotte Dujardin had been riding since the age of two and competing since the age of three. But whilst her talent was obvious, dressage was not an easy career to switch to. With its aristocratic heritage and astronomic cost, dressage was the domain of the rich. Following sacrifices made by her parents, she left school at 16 to compete in as many competitions as she could. At 22, she was invited to be a groom at Carl Hester’s yard in Gloucestershire where she has since remained.

Valegro is a Dark Bay who stands at 16.2hh. With a large canter, an explosive energy and a tendency to shake his head with nerves, Valegro was a challenging dressage horse. As Carl Hester's groom, Dujardin was asked to train him, with the intention that Hester would eventually take over the ride. But groom and horse had an almost telepathic connection and Charlotte was soon putting Valegro through unbelievably challenging routines. His hot energy and her athletic determination became a firebrand partnership, and one which Hester did not want to break.

This is the story of how an outsider and an unconventional horse changed the world of equestrian sport.
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Review Text

"Fascinating – 4 stars"
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Review quote

"For anyone who has followed Charlotte and Valegro's journey - and let's face it, who hasn't - this refreshingly honest autobiography will prove a highly enjoyable, fascinating read." * Horse and Hound * "Fascinating stuff - 4 Stars" * Love It! Magazine * "An emotive memoir ... a powerful story" * Harrods Magazine * "Fascinating - 4 stars" * OK! * "Her long-awaited autobiography is finally here. Dressage star, Charlotte Dujardin, offers a glimpse into the magical journey that she and Valegro went on to become one of the world's most famous duos" * Your Horse Magazine * "Fantastic autobiography" * Essex Rider * "candid and captivating memoir... written with humour and insight, this is an inspiring tale of triumph against the odds" * Lady magazine *
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About Charlotte Dujardin

Charlotte Dujardin, CBE is the winner of three Olympic gold medals and one silver medal, and is Great Britain's most successful Olympic equestrian.
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Rating details

116 ratings
4.54 out of 5 stars
5 71% (82)
4 15% (17)
3 13% (15)
2 2% (2)
1 0% (0)
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