Charlotte’s incredible season results in a Sports Personality nomination

Charlotte DUJARDIN  (GBR) riding VALEGRO
Charlotte DUJARDIN (GBR) riding VALEGRO

Former Vandyke student Charlotte Dujardin is in the running for BBC Sports Personality of the Year.

Dressage rider Charlotte has had a remarkable year with Carl Hester and Roly Luard’s Valegro in taking a number of World titles which has earned her a coveted place.

Charlotte DUJARDIN  (GBR) riding VALEGRO member of the silver medal winning GBER dressage team and highest placed individual

Charlotte DUJARDIN (GBR) riding VALEGRO member of the silver medal winning GBER dressage team and highest placed individual

Ten athletes were nominated with Formula 1’s Lewis Hamilton and golfer Rory McIlroy favourites to lift the title on Sunday December 14.

Being a public vote, if the three million strong equestrian world rallies behind her as happened in 2006 for Zara Phillips and then AP McCoy in 2010 when they won, Charlotte has a chance of lifting the famous trophy.

Charlotte is no stranger to the limelight. In 2012, she helped Great Britain to a gold medal in the team dressage at the Olympics in London, before picking up another gold in the individual competition.

But her season thus far has been nothing short of sensational.

In April, Charlotte became the first British winner of the Reem Acra FEI World Cup TM Finals in Lyon and during the competition broke her own World Record for the grand prix test with 87.129 per cent.

A matter of months later, she was on the world stage again at the Alltech FEI World Equestrian Games.

In the team competition, she and Valegro were the anchor partnership and they entered the d’Ornano Stadium in Normandy knowing that they needed a world-class performance to secure a team medal and also the all-important qualification for the Rio 2016 Olympics.

They delivered on every level and the team took silver behind Germany.

In the individual championships, competition was fierce with a number of her top rivals in the form of their careers.

She and ‘Blueberry’ were the winners in the grand prix special competition by two per cent with German rider Helen Langehanenberg hot on her heels. On freestyle day, the tension was almost unbearable.

The stadium was rocking with an atmosphere akin to football with an expectant crowd. Riding to a new music programme, Charlotte simply blew the audience away with the performance and the judges were unanimous in awarding her the gold.

Her 2014 performances now mean she is the first British rider in history to simultaneously hold the individual titles at Olympic, World and European levels.

She also holds all three world records for tests at grand prix, special and freestyle.

Add to this her FEI World Cup title and the fact she’ll finish the year atop the world rankings, Charlotte is simply a world beater.

With voting for the SPOTY awards down to the public, Charlotte needs all the support she can get ahead of Sunday’s announcement.

To vote, visit www.bbc.co.uk/sport/sports-personality or vote on the night via phone.