It’s a rare experience to meet two Olympic gold medallists, both of whom are in fierce competition with each other and yet manage to share a yard and the most famous dressage horse in the world.
On arrival at the base they share, we are offered tea whilst watching Carl Hester train several riders in the indoor school, while Charlotte Dujardin finishes her monthly sports massage in the room that houses her saddles and equipment.
After emerging from the tack room, she explained apologetically: “I’ve had back problems for years."
“I used to ride 10 horses a day but I’m now down to eight as I can get quite sore,” she sighed, as if the feat is below-par.
Dujardin is nominated for BT Sport's Action Woman of the Year Award
It is this diligence and determination, together with extraordinary talent, that have made the impossible possible for Dujardin. The girl from Enfield, whose father re-mortgaged the house to give his daughter a starting chance, has since won every world title on offer, two Olympic medals and broken every world record going.
Five years ago Dujardin had not even ridden a Grand Prix test. This year alone has seen her win the World Cup Final, break the Grand Prix world record and win two individual gold medals and a team silver in the Alltech FEI World Equestrian Games.
“I’ve had an amazing year but the Games were the highlight for me,” said Dujardin.
“The reception I got when I entered the arena was amazing. It sent shivers down my spine. The atmosphere helps. Valegro and I definitely rise to the occasion. This is something that you dream of doing and when it actually comes together, it is an incredible feeling.”
I had achieved more than I could believe in London but when it all finished it was a massive comedown."
Dujardin’s meteoric rise to success was never going to be trouble-free, but it’s her ability to cope with pressure both inside and outside the dressage arena that make her a champion.
After success in her first year at Grand Prix level she was selected for the British team at the European championships, where they won team gold to put Britain on the dressage map.
Then came the dream of competing at the Olympics, followed by the dream of winning them. Then press, publicity, interviews and trips to London for the girl whose day job was riding horses all day on a farm in Gloucestershire.
Prospective purchasers homed in on Valegro with sky-high offers and the fate of the formidable partnership looked doomed.
Reality cracked, the bubble burst and the pressure ended her relationship with her fiancée Dean.