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Enfield athlete Charlotte Dujardin lands Team GB first ever Olympic gold in team dressage
Enfield-born Charlotte Dujardin has triumphed in team dressage this afternoon, bringing the 20th gold medal for Team GB.
The 27-year-old went for gold with her ten-year-old Olympic horse Valegro, and completed the course in Greenwich Park with the highest score out of the entire competition – 83.286 per cent.
The performance by Dujardin, her trainer Carl Hester and Laura Bechtolsheimer, marked the first ever Olympic gold won by a British team.
Less than two years ago, Dujardin had never ridden an Olympic-standard grand prix test.
The spectacular victory came barely 24 hours after the British show jumping team brought another gold home for Team GB.
Dujardin, who took up riding aged two and started dressage aged 13, set a world record for the Olympic grand prix special discipline scoring 88.022 per cent in April this year.
On Friday, the star thanked her “lucky breeches” for racking an Olympic record of 83.663 in the qualifying heats.
Dujardin, who lives in Gloucestershire and rides up to six hours a day, is due to compete in the individual dressage finals in Thursday.
Team GB, who were favourites to land gold in this year’s Olympics, finished fifth at Beijing in 2008 but confirmed their potential for London 2012 with victory in last year’s European Championships.
Germany snatched the silver medal at 78.21 per cent and Holland third with 77.12 per cent.
Hester told BBC 1: "Both those girls are cool customers. Charlotte is unbelievable for the amount of time she's been riding, and the horse is also unbelievable - he's the best horse in the world.
"As with every sport that has won a gold medal at this Games, it has just shot our sport into a totally different league.
"To come to an Olympics where we were possibly expected to get a gold medal gave me a frightening feeling, and I quite enjoyed it.
"I am looking forward to it all being over, to get the individual competition out of the way now, but it's a truly special minute for everyone in British dressage."