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Nigel Lythgoe's Niece

Gold Medals Twice

In That Horse Thing

8/9/2012 11:35 AM PDT BY TMZ STAFF
Exclusive Details

Charlotte DujardinNigel Lythgoe's niece is now England's idol, after winning her second gold medal in the Olympics this morning.

Charlotte Dujardin rode her way to victory in the non-sport of dressage ... a fancy term for horse dancing.

As for the connection between the famed "American Idol" honcho and Charlotte, she's his ex-wife's sister's daughter. Translation -- even though Nigel calls her his niece, it's really his ex-niece.

Nigel tells us, although he hasn't spoken to her in 9 years, he sponsored her for a year in dressage before he got divorced.

Nigel tells TMZ when he found out Charlotte won for a second time this AM, he actually cried.

Hopefully, we'll see Charlotte on Nigel's next show ... "So You Think You Can Horse Dance."

0809_charlotte_dujardin_gold_horse

For more sports stories, check out tmzsports.com!
75 COMMENTS

No Avatar
31.

NikkiLee    

Who's riding who?

713 days ago
32.

dave    

You guys are such kooks. First of all dressage is as much of a sport as say, golf. I would like to see you do a sitting trot for 3 or 4 minutes without bouncing off of the saddle. Plus you have to steer with your legs only. Unlike soccer you can only use your inside leg muscles. Since you want your horse to "dance" you hope when it comes out for the first time in this new arena it doesn't get too hot and start pulling. That's when the fun starts. Let's not forget all the face plants you had to do to learn how to ride. You need to be pretty tough to get back on. So go back to your lattes down on Montana Ave. It's definitely a sport.

713 days ago
33.

Caroline    

Dude, hello TMZ. It's not horse dancing, it's horse ballet. Duh.

713 days ago
34.

HH    

Seriously, you think that stupid synchronized swimming is a sport, but not horseback riding? Dressage is beyond hard. That girl is piloting a 1200 pound animal, with a mind of his own, who can decide to not do what she wants. Its probably the hardest sport in the games.

713 days ago
35.

Jennifer    

You people have NO IDEA the level of skill and strength this SPORT takes. Get your judgmental behinds on 1500 pounds of animal with a mind of it's own and make it 'dance' . And I mean HOURS and HOURS and days and... you don't just get on a horse someone else has done all the work on and sit pretty and look effortless. Go back to your badminton...

713 days ago
36.

DaKatester    

Dressage is NOT just a horse dancing. do you really think the horse does everything from contact, correct bend at the poll, collection, extensions, lateral movements, to the Passage and Piaffe with no training...while the rider just sits there and hangs on. can you ask a horse to do a correct halfpass, take a green 3 year old, saddle him and ask him to 2-tempo flying lead change with out a fight and watch just how easily the young horse responds. i get so mad when someone says Equestrian is not a sport! The years training and dedication and pure determination is unreal. The only time one has free they are still at the barn. only a true horse lover will put in the hours, deal with the bruises, and sometimes broken bones just to get back in the saddle and do it all again!! tmz, you know nothing about the time and training it takes for these athletes to get to this far. Both horse and rider have to be one, the bond that has to be so strong and not an aid can be incorrect..... horse has to trust rider and rider has to trust the horse. one wrong movement is devastating to the test. I think if someone doesn't know about something, do research or keep your thoughts to yourself ...its wrong to bash someones sport ...yes it is a sport....just because they think its boring... :(
Congrats to Charlotte Dujardin for an amazing ride! You are a true athlete!

713 days ago
37.

Kath    

Again, I say TMZ bite me...you don't have to like, it, but there are plenty of people that do..... I also agree that softball should be in the Olmpics.

713 days ago
38.

JLo    

Um, until you have actually ridden a dressage test....you really have no idea what you are talking about. Typical redneck ignorance. if it doesn't involve a ball and half naked cheerleaders....it must not be a sport! i find football absolutely boring and that takes absolutely no talent....just a thick neck and being too dumb to feel pain.

713 days ago
39.

reginas1    

Dear TMZ,

As someone who has been your viewer I am totally outraged by your article. That shows the lack of knowledge and intelligence on your part. It appears that you just like to slam those that are excellent to make up for your unintelligence, ignorance, and lack of talent. Congratulations you have just upset the $5+ billion dollar industry. So that said I will NEVER watch your program again and I am sure majority of equestrians that have red your ignorant article will be doing the same. As an Equestrian and a fallow Dressage rider I am outraged at your comments as well as those ignorant people that are commenting on this article. You have given those that have nothing to do with their lives opportunity to slam the best in the world because why? You all feel superior? I will tell you why… Ignorance, arrogance, and unintelligence play a big part in this. I dear all of you that talk badly about this sport and call a century old Olympic sport which you knew nothing about or able to do even say the word until Ann Romney came along. I dear you get on any of these Dressage horses and not even try to perform the movements because none of you will ever accomplish that but simply stay on that horse for 5 minutes. And when I say 5 minutes I am being generous with giving you credit that you can stay on that long. That said let me explain a little bit about this sport to those ignorant people that have written this article and making nasty comments.


First of all in order to ride at this level a rider MUST be fit because every single movement that comes from the horse comes from a rider’s body. Those horses will NEVER do these movements without the skilled rider on their backs. The training to each this level can take anywhere between 5 to 10 years. The riders that train these horses sacrifice everything in their lives to pursue their dreams to be performing in the front of millions of people including ignorant people like you. These riders also ride 10-15 horses a day to be successful because every horse is different and training is not the say for all for all of them. They spend sleepless nights caring for these animals and because they are animals and have feelings you deal with moods just like with people. Those riders that didn’t do so well had either an issue with their horse and the performance was just not up to the level of the rider that you are bashing. To each this goal takes many years and only few of us can get to that level. Charlotte Dujardin is an inspiration to most of us Dressage riders and personally I find it disgusting to read this article and comments. I hope you all get of your lazy a$$es and do an Olympic sport that’s called a “walk” because most of you commenting on these articles are most likely sitting on you’re a$$es and stuffing your faces while we spend every waking and free moment riding, exercising the horses, and becoming the athletes you will NEVER be!


Happy Friday to all of you!

713 days ago
40.

reginas1    

Dear TMZ,


As someone who has been your viewer I am totally outraged by your article. That shows the lack of knowledge and intelligence on your part. It appears that you just like to slam those that are excellent to make up for your unintelligence, ignorance, and lack of talent. Congratulations you have just upset the $5+ billion dollar industry. So that said I will NEVER watch your program again and I am sure majority of equestrians that have red your ignorant article will be doing the same. As an Equestrian and a fellow Dressage rider I am outraged at your comments as well as those ignorant people that are commenting on this article. You have given those that have nothing to do with their lives opportunity to slam the best in the world because why? You all feel superior? I will tell you why… Ignorance, arrogance, and unintelligence play a big part in this. I dare all of you that talk badly about this sport and call a century old Olympic sport which you knew nothing about or able to do even say the word until Ann Romney came along. I dare you get on any of these Dressage horses and not even try to perform the movements because none of you will ever accomplish that but simply stay on that horse for 5 minutes. And when I say 5 minutes I am being generous with giving you credit that you can stay on that long. That said let me explain a little bit about this sport to those ignorant people that have written this article and making nasty comments.


First of all in order to ride at this level a rider MUST be fit because every single movement that comes from the horse comes from a rider’s body. Those horses will NEVER do these movements without the skilled rider on their backs. The training to each this level can take anywhere between 5 to 10 years. The riders that train these horses sacrifice everything in their lives to pursue their dreams to be performing in the front of millions of people including ignorant people like you. These riders also ride 10-15 horses a day to be successful because every horse is different and training is not the say for all for all of them. They spend sleepless nights caring for these animals and because they are animals and have feelings you deal with moods just like with people. Those riders that didn’t do so well had either an issue with their horse and the performance was just not up to the level of the rider that you are bashing. To each this goal takes many years and only few of us can get to that level. Charlotte Dujardin is an inspiration to most of us Dressage riders and personally I find it disgusting to read this article and comments. I hope you all get of your lazy a$$es and do an Olympic sport that’s called a “walk” because most of you commenting on these articles are most likely sitting on you’re a$$es and stuffing your faces while we spend every waking and free moment riding, exercising the horses, and becoming the athletes you will NEVER be!


Happy Friday to all of you!

713 days ago
41.

jokerchick    

it's called dressage TMZ...took lessons for 6 yrs as a kid and had the best lower body workout 2 days a week that you can have (posting works all of the muscles in the leg/glutes)...trust me, controlling an animal that size with grace is quite a skill, try it if you can afford it

713 days ago
42.

Renap1    

Dear TMZ,

As someone who has been your viewer I am totally outraged by your article. That shows the lack of knowledge and intelligence on your part. It appears that you just like to slam those that are excellent to make up for your unintelligence, ignorance, and lack of talent. Congratulations you have just upset the $5+ billion dollar industry. So that said I will NEVER watch your program again and I am sure majority of equestrians that have red your ignorant article will be doing the same. As an Equestrian and a fallow Dressage rider I am outraged at your comments as well as those ignorant people that are commenting on this article. You have given those that have nothing to do with their lives opportunity to slam the best in the world because why? You all feel superior? I will tell you why… Ignorance, arrogance, and unintelligence play a big part in this. I dear all of you that talk badly about this sport and call a century old Olympic sport which you knew nothing about or able to do even say the word until Ann Romney came along. I dear you get on any of these Dressage horses and not even try to perform the movements because none of you will ever accomplish that but simply stay on that horse for 5 minutes. And when I say 5 minutes I am being generous with giving you credit that you can stay on that long. That said let me explain a little bit about this sport to those ignorant people that have written this article and making nasty comments.

First of all in order to ride at this level a rider MUST be fit because every single movement that comes from the horse comes from a rider’s body. Those horses will NEVER do these movements without the skilled rider on their backs. The training to each this level can take anywhere between 5 to 10 years. The riders that train these horses sacrifice everything in their lives to pursue their dreams to be performing in the front of millions of people including ignorant people like you. These riders also ride 10-15 horses a day to be successful because every horse is different and training is not the say for all for all of them. They spend sleepless nights caring for these animals and because they are animals and have feelings you deal with moods just like with people. Those riders that didn’t do so well had either an issue with their horse and the performance was just not up to the level of the rider that you are bashing. To each this goal takes many years and only few of us can get to that level. Charlotte Dujardin is an inspiration to most of us Dressage riders and personally I find it disgusting to read this article and comments. I hope you all get of your lazy a$$es and do an Olympic sport that’s called a “walk” because most of you commenting on these articles are most likely sitting on you’re a$$es and stuffing your faces while we spend every waking and free moment riding, exercising the horses, and becoming the athletes you will NEVER be!


Happy Friday to all of you!

712 days ago
43.

erica    

i love you TMZ but this commentary is outrageous. I've ridden every week for more than a decade, and there are three olympic qualified horses living at my barn. dressage, eventing, cross country ON A HORSE is by far one of the most challenging athletic endeavors.

712 days ago
44.

Morgan    

OMG TMZ "non" sport??..... and to all those who obviously know nothing about the work and dedication it takes to have success in this sport....get some education before u knock it. Sorry you're too ADD to sit down and comprehend this event in the Olympics.

712 days ago
45.

DaKatester    

for those who say Equestrian Athletes are not as physically fit as other athletes think about this
obviously one must have not done competitive riding if they say riders arn't as physical as other athletes, sitting on a horse trail riding and Eventing; Dressage, cross country, show jumping, even western pleasure, barrels and reining are different worlds. Can you sit a trot...no posting for an entire test, control a rank horse, hold a 2 point? Warmbloods, Sport-horses and Thoroughbreds which are usually the horses used in upper level English riding. Quarter horses are mainly used in western shows. Show horses are ranker then the average horse...Show horses are not the older, well broke reliable (usually) quarter mixes that are used for livery. They are trained for their endurance, speed, and temperament. I hear "i have ridden" so many times and when i ask what kind...they say "on a trail" That's nothing compared to the athletes who train Equines. Our leg muscles are incredible...and training a young horse, dealing with the bucks, spooks, rears, both in saddle and on the ground...yeah one has to be psychically fit to handle a 1200 lb+ animal who has a mind of its own. i have done Gymnastics, springboard diving, track....each one uses different muscles and you bet they are fit. but ride a horse for a hr a day ....oh wait, these athletes have mult. horses they ride every day, 7 days a week then come back and say that we are not as psychical as other athletes.
oh plus add on the time for grooming each horse....20 min each, tacking the horse; leather English saddle 30lbs, synthetic is usually 18lbs/ western Leather can weigh 100 lbs synthetic 20lbs on a horse up to17 hands (63 inches for a 17 hand horse; one hand is 4 inches ave horse between 15-17) plus putting on pad, bridle, girth, breast plate, leg wraps/sport boots 15minutes each horse, cool off after time varies depending on the fitness of the horse can run 10-40 min, plus if we have them at our home we also clean stalls, drag shavings bags, 15 min per horse, feed, water, clean water buckets. also when getting in hay shipments there's the unloading each hay bale off the truck, then stacking it in the hay room (bales about 20 lbs each x 100 or more is a usual load from my experience) grain bags are usually 50lb bags.
can't forget about the little things, putting on fly boots, blankets, fl spray, turnout, giving them baths, bringing them in from turnout.
some seem to forget, riding is not the only part of being a horsemen, there is a lot to do before and after one gets on the horse. many board and don't have to clean/feed and some upper level have grooms, but everyone stars somewhere and a true horsemen never forgets the early days.

712 days ago
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