CHARLOTTE Dujardin became the first British woman to win six Olympic medals as new horse Gio showed just what he could become.
Dujardin’s attempt to make it three successive individual dressage golds just fell short.
But a brilliant effort in the final saw Gio, who looked nervous in the team event, appear to have matured overnight.
Dujardin’s routine, to a backdrop of a Japanese-inspired composition by acclaimed musician Tom Hunt, was that of a veteran competitor, not a 10-year-old in his first major competition.
They scored 88.543 to finish behind only German duo Jessica von Bredow-Werndl and Isabell Werth.
The medal, giving her a collection of three golds, a silver and two bronzes from London, Rio, and now Tokyo, took her one ahead of Kitty Godfree and Dame Katherine Grainger’s tally of five.
And it was reward for the 36-year-old Dujardin’s faith in her young steed.
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Gio was a surprise choice rather than regular ride Mount St John Freestyle following the post-2016 retirement of Valegro and looked a rookie in Tuesday’s team final when GB came third.
But Dujardin was all smiles after “Pumpkin”, as he is known in her yard, bounced back with a superb display.
And when Germany’s Dorothee Schneider, last to go, got it all wrong to plunge to 15th, it meant Dujardin was making British Olympic history.
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