Charlotte Dujardin became the first British woman to win six Olympic medals with a stunning individual dressage bronze in Tokyo.
Riding young horse Gio, the three-time Olympic champion produced a brilliant ride to snatch third place on the podium in the Grand Prix freestyle final she won at London 2012 and Rio 2016.
Following a bronze in the team event with Carl Hester and Lottie Fry yesterday, it means she has three golds, one silver and two bronze medals from three Olympic appearances.
That takes Dujardin one medal clear of Dame Katherine Grainger and Kitty McCane to sit alone as the most decorated female British Olympian of all time.
Hester, the oldest athlete to represent Team GB at Tokyo 2020 at 54, finished eighth while newcomer Charlotte Fry was 13th in the individual event after the pair joined Dujardin in winning team bronze on Tuesday.
Dujardin, 36, from Enfield, said: “I wasn’t going to go down without a good fight. I finished and it was the biggest adrenaline rush ever. He didn’t make a mistake. He gave me so much.
“I was literally throwing him from one thing to another thing, and he just keeps going. What he has done is phenomenal.
“It’s as good as previous Olympics, it is as good as a gold medal. A horse that has such little experience. I feel so emotional. He had no idea what he was doing, but he just goes in there and does it.
“If you think he’s ten years old doing this, he’s going to be a superstar.”
On becoming the first British woman to win six Olympic medals, she said: “I can’t believe it. To be level with Katherine Grainger was pretty impressive but now I’ve actually beaten it, oh my God.
“I can’t quite believe it, I’m incredibly proud and a bit speechless. I just don’t know what to feel.”
Dujardin’s previous Olympic medals prior to Tokyo had come on Valegro, the two providing one of the most famous duos in equestrian.
A new and equally-impressive pair is now blossoming on the Olympic stage, with Dujardin revealing the story behind how their partnership began.
She added: “The minute I clocked eyes on Gio, I instantly fell in love with him. I spoke to the girl who owned him and asked her for a go. I knew if I rode him, everyone would want to buy him so I needed to make some sort of deal.
“I asked if she’d be interested in selling him and she said ‘If I’m going to sell him to anyone, I’m going to sell him to you’.
“You just know, I looked at him and loved him and got on him and was like ‘wow’.”