We at TSB are simply thrilled to be the US publisher of Charlotte Dujardin’s autobiography THE GIRL ON THE DANCING HORSE, which will be released in the States on Friday, March 16, 2018.
Charlotte Dujardin and her charismatic horse Valegro burst onto the international sports scene with their record–breaking performance at the 2012 Olympic Games in London. The world was captivated by the young woman with the dazzling smile and her dancing horse. The YouTube clip of their Freestyle performance has since had over 1.7 million views, and Dujardin is considered the dominant dressage rider of her era. When Valegro (affectionately called “Blueberry”) retired from competition at the end of 2016, his farewell performance at the Olympia Grand Hall sold out and the dark bay gelding received a standing ovation.
Dujardin began riding horses at the age of two, but dressage was the domain of the rich–not the life a girl from a middleclass family was born into. Her parents sacrificed to give her as many opportunities as they could, and she left school at 16 to focus on equestrian competition. It was at 22, when she was invited to be a groom for British Olympian Carl Hester, that she met the equine partner that would change her fortune.
THE GIRL ON THE DANCING HORSE shares this story, beginning with Charlotte’s early years restarting naughty ponies and following her equestrian evolution, which eventually led to the Olympic arena and gold medals, as she competed against the best in the world. Readers get an honest look at the road Charlotte took to reach the top, and along the way they gain an intimate understanding of who she is and why she and Valegro were able to connect with each other and develop such an unparalleled partnership.
There are many fascinating details readers learn in the pages of Charlotte’s autobiography. Here are 10 you probably (maybe) didn’t already know:
1 Charlotte grew up battling dyslexia, which led to anxiety at school. But as much as she feared a spelling test, as a child she was never nervous at a horse show. The bigger the crowd, the better. (That changed when she had to memorize dressage tests!)
2 Early in her development as a dressage rider, Charlotte struggled with her sitting trot. So she took up swimming to help develop her core strength, clocking in 50-70 lengths each morning before heading to the barn.
3 Charlotte wears false nails because she wants to disguise her “old lady hands” and arthritic knuckles from years of working and riding outside in the wet and cold.
4 At the barn where she rode with Carl Hester, there was a long concrete driveway that riders would walk the horses up before and after work, and when Charlotte first started at Carl’s, she would always try and finish schooling at the same time as him so they could ride up the driveway together and she could work up the courage to talk to him.
5 Charlotte never rode in a helmet at home and wore a top hat to show until she was bucked off into the wall of the arena one day and ended up in the hospital with a skull fracture. Now she schools and shows in a helmet.
6 Charlotte’s fiancé went to the horse show where they first met intending to find himself a girlfriend. He thought it a likely venue for available young women!
7 The first time Charlotte and Valegro competed against Carl was in a Prix St Georges class at the Royal Windsor Horse Show in May 2009. Charlotte and Valegro won.
8 In 2010 Charlotte lost a bet (by winning a test with Valegro) and had to jump into a hot tub in her riding clothes.
9 Valegro loves performing. There are never monsters lurking in corners or waiting in the flowerpots to get him. He’s always focused and always reliable.
10 Before the Olympics in Rio, Charlotte had a feeling it should be Valegro’s final competition. She wanted him to finish at the top where everybody would remember him as the best horse there was. She didn’t want him to end his career as an older horse, not able to give what he once could. Retiring him while he was still at his best was what she felt was the right thing to do.
The first 100 people to order THE GIRL ON THE DANCING HORSE from the Trafalgar Square Books online bookstore will receive an autographed copy! Plus, shipping in the US is FREE.
CLICK HERE to order your copy now.
Trafalgar Square Books, the leading publisher of equestrian books and DVDs, is a small company based on a farm in rural Vermont.