Some of us had hoped to see her in Herning. Especially given the rumours about her new up-and-coming super horse, Gio, which have been circulating in the dressage world for some time. However, sadly, it is Holland, not Denmark, that will be visited by Dujardin in March. The duo will soon make their international debut, and expectations are high. Here we profile Charlotte's "new" horse, which she is touted to have a good chance of winning an Olympic medal with.
Gio is a 9-year-old Dutch Warmblood gelding (by Apache x Tango) co-owned by Charlotte and Renai Hart. In fact, Charlotte came across the horse back in 2016 when she saw him walk. Charlotte has told Horse & Hound that she fell in love with Gio when she saw his wonderful trot and canter.
The Olympic gold medalist discovered the beautiful little gelding, then five years old, at a clinic in California by sheer chance. After many enquiries, Charlotte managed to persuade Gio's owners to sell the small horse. And like all Charlotte's other horses, Gio has been given a nickname, Pumpkin, because of his red colour.
The pair won the British Championship in 2019 at Intermediate II level. Charlotte showcased Gio's capabilities in the difficult exercises at a clinic in London in 2019, before they made their Grand Prix debut at a national show in Addington on 11 January 2020, scoring a whopping 79.56%. Now the plan is for the pair to debut at the CDI-W in Hertogenbosch on 10 March 2020 - their first international show together.
Gio is tipped to be Dujardin's secret weapon for the Olympics in Tokyo by media outlets such as Eurodressage.com. The rumour is that she could potentially adopt a so-called "Isabell Werth strategy.
A Werth strategy involves using one superstar for World Cup events (Weihegold - Mount St. John Freestyle) and riding another super horse for the Olympics (Bella Rose - Gio). But logically, the best-scoring and most suitable horse would be the one she takes to Tokyo.
We don't mind admitting that we here in the editorial team are big fans of Gio and prefer the little red gelding over the brown mare with the twitching ears, Mount Saint John Freestyle. Not least because Charlotte's work with the red gelding is absolutely exceptional.
Here are two videos of the horse. In the first video, Gio is 5 years old and in the next, he's 9 years old from September 2019.