Elated Equestrian: Sportswoman of the Year

Charlotte Dujardin – the double Olympic dressage champion – has been named Sportswoman of the Year for 2014, making her the third equestrian to win the accolade.

 A history of success

Following on from the success of fellow sportswomen and riders Pippa Funnell and Zara Phillips who won the prestigious award in 2003 and 2005 respectively, Charlotte will be filling some big riding boots as she is recognised for her fantastic riding ability and achievements at the awards.

Charlotte now holds multiple titles for her sport at Olympic, World and European class levels – making her one of the most distinguished women in the sport.

Her list of accolades includes:

•    Sunday Times & Sky Sports Sportswoman of the Year 2014
•    Gold medallist for freestyle events at the 2014 World Equestrian Games, France
•    Gold medallist for special events at the 2014 World Equestrian Games, France
•    Double champion for dressage in the 2012 Olympic Games

But she is not content to leave it there. In an interview with Sky she spoke of her hopes for attaining more awards at next year’s World Cup finals in Las Vegas as well as future European competitions and the 2016 Olympic Games in Rio.

An unbeatable partnership

As well as speaking about her own hopes for the future, Charlotte also spoke of the partner to all her accomplishments – her horse, Valegro.

The Dutch-bred gelding has helped Charlotte win all of her accolades and she was keen to praise him for this.

“I have an incredible relationship with Velgro, I’ve been working with him for eight years and we know each other inside out […] he should be up there receiving that award with me.”

Other winners

While Charlotte scooped perhaps the biggest accolade of the ceremony, the awards recognised many other sportsmen and women for their achievements.

Team of the Year went to England Rugby Union while Young Sportswoman of the Year was taken by Claudio Fragapane – the emerging gymnast who won four gold medals at the Commonwealth Games. Disability Sportswoman of the Year was awarded to Stephanie Slater while Louise Martin took home the Lifetime Achievement Award.

For Charlotte, winning Sportswoman of the Year meant beating some stiff competition – such as Winter Olympics gold medallist Lizzy Yarnold and 10,000 metre European Champion Jo Pavey. The awards seek to bestow praise and recognition on any sportsman or woman who has attained significant achievements in their career.

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