Dressage European individual silver medallist Carl Hester has bought a five-year-old event horse to be produced by Piggy French.

Beautiful Pleasure, by For Pleasure out of a Ramiro Z mare, has showjumped in Holland and came from Ryan Shannon’s Herefordshire yard.

Carl – who started out as an event rider – told H&H he had been looking for the right horse for some time.

“I don’t miss the eventing, but I do love it,” he said.

“I’ve been talking about it [buying a horse] for a while, so it was just a case of finding the right one. I didn’t want an event horse that couldn’t trot.

“This is a very quality one, a real mover. If he doesn’t like eventing, I’ll have him back to do some dressage.”

Ryan Shannon told H&H that the horse “shows a lot of scope for eventing”.

And he revealed that Carl is as capable over a fence as he is on the flat. “He jumped the horse really well over 1.10-1.20m fences when he came to try him.”

Carl admitted: “I hadn’t jumped since I did the Horse & Hound cover with Flint Curtis [8 January 2009] – so that has to recommend the horse!”

Carl gave up eventing to focus on dressage when he went to work for Dr Bechtolsheimer in 1989, because of the risk of injury.

“I’ve sent the horse to Piggy because she’s talented and has a sense of humour,” he said.

“I’m looking forward to watching him at Badminton in a few years’ time.”

Beautiful Pleasure – stable name Red – arrived at Piggy’s Leicestershire yard last Thursday (8 December).

The Blenheim-winning rider told H&H: “He’s really sweet and moves beautifully. I just popped him round a few fences at home in the school and he was very good.”

This news story was first published in the current issue of H&H (15 December 2011)