August 15, 2016 / 6:41 PM / 3 years ago

Dressage ends with golden proposal for Dujardin

2016 Rio Olympics - Equestrian - Victory Ceremony - Dressage Individual Victory Ceremony - Olympic Equestrian Centre - Rio de Janeiro, Brazil - 15/08/2016. Charlotte Dujardin (GBR) of Britain reacts after receiving the gold medal. REUTERS/Tony Gentile TPX IMAGES OF THE DAY

RIO DE JANEIRO (Reuters) - After Britain’s Charlotte Dujardin finished her high-scoring freestyle dressage test, cameras zoomed in on her long-time partner in the stands holding up a sign saying “Will you marry me now?”

Dujardin, who claimed her second straight Olympic individual gold in the sport on Monday, said she already had a ring on her finger and planned to marry the South African Dean Wyatt next year.

“He asked me actually just before London and I said yes,” said Dujardin after the medals ceremony, referring to the last Olympics in 2012. “I don’t think he believed it was going to happen so I think he has made it so public that now I am certainly going to do it”

Although she did not break her own freestyle world record, Dujardin was still far and away the top scorer in her final Olympic ride on the powerful black horse Valegro she earned team and individual gold with in 2012.

The former stable hand has breathed new life into the elite sport of dressage by earning once unthinkable scores and breaking with some traditions. She performs in a crash helmet rather than a top hat, yet still counts Queen Elizabeth among her fans.

Dujardin said she has been with Wyatt for nine years.

It was not the first public marriage proposal in Rio. China’s He Zi received a diamond ring during the medal ceremony of the women’s 3-meter springboard diving event on Sunday.

Brazilian women’s rugby player Isadora Cerullo also accepted a marriage proposal from her girlfriend at the medals ceremony for the first Olympic rugby sevens competition last week.

Reporting by Caroline Stauffer; Editing by Bill Rigby

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