Charlotte Dujardin and Valegro perform their Kur to music
at the London 2012 Olympic games to become Olympic Champions
Born in Enfield and educated at a Leighton Buzzard comprehensive, Charlotte started her equestrian career as a stable hand and had never ridden a competitive grand prix test until January last year. “He gave me his all, even though he was tired,” she said. “Whatever medal I had won – or none at all – I would have been happy, because I could not have asked for any more from him.”
with thanks to evenag114 for the video ( edited slightly )
I was very lucky indeed to catch this live on television. Taking a break from some gardening, I plonked myself down with an afternoon cup of Earl Grey and flipped on the TV to see if there was anything exciting happening at the Olympics. I was immediately and totally mesmerised by this performance and a large part of the interest for me was the use of the music. Someone had made very clever choices matching the music to the occasion as many patriotic themes were featured including “Land of Hope and Glory” (the trio theme from Edward Elgar’s Pomp and Circumstance March No. 1), I Vow to Thee my Country (adapted by Holst from the Jupiter section of his Planet Suite) plus chiming and tolling bells. Also prominent amongst these fabulous tunes were Elmer Bernstein’s theme to The Great Escape and McCartney’s Live and Let Die.
I had never watched a complete performance of this discipline before and was entranced by the “musicianship” of both horse and rider although I realise that a huge amount of schooling and practice was necessary to make it look so spontaneous. Credit for the music arrangement goes to composer Tom Hunt who managed to edit skilfully the succession of melodies to fit the various compulsory elements of the freestyle event. As a musician my ear was a little disconcerted when unexpected repeats of phrases were introduced but the use of chimes and tolls made a useful transition in the flow of melodies. However my ears took a back seat when the horse and music were so entirely in sync and the word WOW was uttered frequently. An amazing performance which was watched on a novice level as I know nothing at all of dressage but I do know that the combination of rousing tunes and a brave, graceful spectacle roused in me a patriotic feeling ( and a few tears ) which caught me quite by surprise. And that feeling grew to bursting point when horse and rider were awarded a record high score and the gold medal. I’m really thankful that I happened to be in front of a TV at the time.
Why don’t you play the video, sit back and admire skill and dedication blended with some gorgeous tunes? – you don’t have to be British!
Well it’s all over ( the Olympics that is ) and some of us had a fine time enjoying the skill and endurance displayed whilst not being involved in the tumultuous crowds, traffic chaos and McDonalds. Like many others I found myself learning about sports which had hitherto flown way over my radar ( and gaydar! ) although I have to confess that none of them is going to tempt me to participate – sorry Mr Cameron.
Most commentators and observers agree that the whole thing was a great success, bringing people together and highlighting the better attributes of the human condition. But what on earth possessed someone to dream up that closing ceremony? I was embarrassed and dejected that we wheeled out ageing rock and pop stars and “comedians” from the past. I was dismayed that one of our excellent trademark military bands was a mere distant accompaniment to some prancing popinjay. I was aghast at the relentless pop trivia that was churned out whilst the athletes entered the arena. And, I have to confess, I did not make it to the end and I missed the spectacle of the fireworks and the poignancy of the flame extinguishing. If our opening ceremony mystified people from abroad goodness knows what they thought of this Great Britain trite hype. What a shame.