LONDON 2012: Dujardin confident as hosts look to end 116-year wait for Olympic dressage medal
SHE has been breaking records for fun in recent months but now Great Britain dressage rider Charlotte Dujardin is targeting the ultimate prize - and ending a very long wait.
CONFIDENT: Charlotte Dujardin is hopeful Great Britain can end their 116-year wait for an Olympic dressage medal at London 2012 (Getty Images)
Barely two months after breaking the grand prix special world record with her Olympics horse Valegro; she became the first British rider to break the 90 percent barrier for a freestyle routine in international competition earlier this month at the Hartpury International Festival of Dressage in Gloucestershire.
It smashed the previous British record held by Team GB colleague Laura Bechtolsheimer and confirmed 25-year-old Dujardin as a major gold medal contender in team and individual disciplines.
“I would love to win an Olympic medal, especially an individual one,” said Dujardin. “I am going there to bring home a gold but it would be amazing to win an Olympics medal anywhere, although to do it at your home Olympics would be even better.
“I think I am striking form at the right time. I got a world record earlier this year and I have got another one earlier this month.
“I think I am performing as well as I ever have done. I hope I can carry on breaking records at London 2012.
“I am feeling positive about my chances and all our team is going there with medal-winning ambitions, which has probably never happened before."
Dressage is probably the least action-packed of Olympic sports, with the object to demonstrate a horse's responsiveness to riders commands by taking the horse through a series of pre-arranged movements.
Great Britain have never won an Olympic dressage medal but finished a best-ever fifth in the team event in Beijing and arrive at their home Games in confident mood, with Carl Hester completing the three-strong team line-up and Richard Davison competing in the individual event only.
“The team is moving in the right direction and we are definitely all contenders," added Dujardin.
“I am feeling confident and we have a good strong team and we are optimistic of performing to our best. It is great that we are going there so positive and with no issues in the team.
“However, when you are out there with an animal, anything can happen. Things can go wrong on the day and it is not just yourself you have to take care of.”
© Sportsbeat 2012