Second gold for Dujardin and Valegro in dressage
RIO DE JANEIRO (AP) Charlotte Dujardin and Valegro clinched a second successive gold dressage medal on Monday, setting an Olympic record in the process.
In their last Olympics together before Valegro retires, the British rider posted a score of 93.857 percent, beating the record she set in London four years ago.
The 31-year-old Dujardin joined cyclist Laura Trott as Britain's most decorated female Olympian, having also won silver in the team event on Friday.
Dujardin, who was the only rider to surpass the 90 mark, broke down in tears after a brilliant peformance to the sound of samba music.
''It felt like he'd done his very best. Really emotional,'' she sobbed. ''Just because as well he's going to be retired, I haven't said when but it's on the cards to retire. Go home and make a plan. I know I've done my best and he's done his.
Dujardin finished ahead of Isabell Werth and Kristina Broring-Sprehe, who were both part of the Germany team that won Friday.
It was a fourth silver medal for Werth and a 10th overall, making the 47-year-old the most decorated Olympic equestrian rider.
''I'm really happy about it,'' Werth said. ''When I went in I knew Charlotte had 93 or 94 percent so I knew we would not have the next world wonder but I tried, it was really fun today and I enjoyed my ride. It's been fantastic for us the German team, with the gold, silver and bronze.''
Werth had a score of 89.071 on Weihegold OLD, with Broring-Sprehe posting 87.142 on Desperados.
Dujardin visited Rio de Janeiro's famous Christ the Redeemer statue the previous day and joked ''I got on my hands and knees and prayed ... and maybe that helped.''
The British rider admitted she had felt the pressure and expectation to deliver and felt unusually nervous going into the arena.
''Going to London I didn't have any expectations for the individual,'' Dujardin said. ''I just went out there, did my thing and it happened. Coming here, I had to defend that title, I had expectations, I had the pressure and I did feel it a liitle bit, for the first time ever.
''As soon as I got in the arena, I trotted around the outside and Valegro gave me the most incredible feeling, put a smile on my face and I just knew then it was all going to be okay and it was. It was just one of those magical rides where you know you have that partnership, that connection, that bond with your horse.''
Valegro may be set to retire imminently, but Dujardin already has her sights set on a third successive gold in Tokyo - although she knows it will be a tall order to find another brilliant horse.
''How many horses can do that time and time again,'' she said. ''He is a once in a lifetime horse. It's another huge challenge to try and recreate and do it all over again. There will never be another Valegro. I don't want anyone ever to compare a horse I ride to Valegro because there will never be another him.''