The way Charlotte Dujardin is riding so well once again at these Olympics you wouldn’t have guessed that her last year of competition back in 2019 before the pandemic had been such a difficult one.
The winner of gold medals at both the London 2012 and Rio 2016 Olympic games Charlotte is currently trying to make it three on the bounce.
But back in 2019 the Enfield born rider faced both an elimination from competition as well as a particularly difficult split from her long-time romantic partner.
READ MORE: When will Tom Daley next compete and how many Olympic medals does he have?
Ahead of Tokyo 2020 Charlotte was hoping for a medal, we’ll soon see if she can replicate her golds of previous games
(Image: Ryan Pierse/Getty Images for British Olympic Association)
Dujardin, 36, won every single possible major title that a single rider can win in dressage riding her previous horse Valegro.
She is still the only rider ever to hold all of these titles at once, including Olympic and World Championship golds.
Her total Olympic haul at this point is three golds and one silver, all coming on Valegro who was retired after the Rio Olympics in 2016.
Since Rio Charlotte struggled compared to her previous success internationally, only managing bronzes at the World Equestrian Games in 2018.
In 2019 this came to a head as she was eliminated from the European Championships after achieving silver when her horse was found to have blood on it’s side, meaning an automatic disqualification.
Dujardin in action at the Tokyo 2020 games
(Image: Friso Gentsch/DPA via PA Wire)
Speaking about this in an interview with Horse and Hound she said: “I felt horrendous about what happened at the Europeans – for Freestyle, for the whole team, for everybody – but I always think that if you don’t win, you learn, and I hope it has made me stronger and a better person.”
This tough time professionally was made even worse by troubles out of the spotlight and an emotional break-up with partner of 13 years and fiancé Dean Golding.
She continued in the same interview: “It really wasn’t the greatest year in 2019; I found the Euros very tough and going through personal issues at the same time, in splitting up with Dean, felt like a double whammy.
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“I was trying very hard not to allow my personal life to affect my profession and let it show, but it was hard.”
Whilst 2020 wasn’t much better with the pandemic Charlotte has been hard at work training horses and is in a great position along with the rest of the team GB dressage team to get back in the medals in Tokyo.
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