Charlotte Dujardin described as “pretty cool” her achievement in equalling the most number of Olympic medals won by a British woman.
Dressage star Dujardin’s fifth Olympic medal – a team bronze alongside Great Britain colleagues Carl Hester and Charlotte Fry at Tokyo Equestrian Park – put her level with rower Dame Katherine Grainger.
Dujardin, 36, won double gold at London 2012, then successfully defended her individual title in Rio five years ago, where Britain also claimed a team silver.
Little Pumpkin, we love you! 🧡 @CSJDujardin and Gio try their hearts out under the floodlights for 79.544%. @TeamGB are guaranteed at least a bronze medal with Germany still to go 🥉#Tokyo2020 #TeamGB #UnitedByEmotion #ThisIsWhatMakesUs #EquestrianDressage pic.twitter.com/3pCftxieZw
— British Equestrian (@BritEquestrian) July 27, 2021
“I didn’t even know that until about a minute go!” Dujardin said. “And I was like ‘oh my God’! That’s pretty cool, isn’t it.”
Dujardin, Hester and Fry finished third behind Olympic title holders Germany and runners-up the United States. It was Britain’s third successive Olympic team medal in the sport.
Dujardin, riding major championship debutant Gio, anchored the British team’s performance, posting a score of 2617 points for third place, just 24 points overall behind the United States.
The penultimate rider to go in Tokyo’s evening heat, she did everything she could to haul Britain back above the United States, while Germany finished way clear in gold medal position.
Dujardin added: “I knew I had to go some, and I was really pleased with Gio. He is so inexperienced.
“I was absolutely thrilled with him. He is only 10 years old and what he has delivered here, I can’t ask for any more.
“It might be a bronze medal but it’s really like a gold medal because he has absolutely given me everything.
“We knew it was going to be tough. This last year has been so hard, with so many shows being cancelled, so it was really a bit of the unknown coming here.
“We are delighted to have a medal.
“There were so many teams here that could get a medal, and I feel so proud and honoured to be here, representing my country and coming away with another medal.”
Hester, the oldest member of Team GB at 54 and contesting his sixth Games, scored 2577.5 with En Vogue.
And 25-year-old Fry, whose late mother Laura competed for Great Britain at the 1992 Barcelona Olympics, registered 2528.5 aboard Everdale.
Germany made it nine team crowns from the last 10 Olympics as a powerhouse trio of Isabell Werth, Jessica Von Bredow-Werndl and Dorothee Schneider triumphed.
Werth, 52, became the first rider to win seven Olympic golds and just the third athlete to collect gold at six different Games.
But it was an impressive achievement by the British trio, with Fry making her Games bow and all three team horses having never previously competed at an Olympics.
— The Duke and Duchess of Cambridge (@KensingtonRoyal) July 27, 2021
And for Dujardin, it continues a remarkable success story, with all her previous Olympic medals being won aboard the now-retired Valegro.
She also holds all three world records in the sport and will now go for a possible sixth Olympic medal in Wednesday’s individual freestyle final.
Reflecting on a podium finish in her first Games, Fry said: “I couldn’t have asked for much more.
“But I really love competing and this arena is so amazing to ride in, even without people.
“I didn’t really know what to expect, coming here, but being with Carl and Charlotte, they have experienced it all before and they’ve given me so much support.”
Hester added: “That was cool. I had a great balance with En Vogue and I feel he came here as a boy and he went in there like a man.
“It still feels like he is one of the best horses you could ever sit on. He is amazing.
“We’ve always known he is so talented and I have just been waiting for the right ride so I could just prove what we know we think he is.”