Carl Hester returned to the Royal Windsor Horse Show to repeat his double win of 2015, this time aboard his own and Anne Seifert-Cohn’s Barolo.
This was Carl’s first competitive appearance on the 11-year-old chestnut gelding, who has previously been campaigned under Charlotte Dujardin. But he and ‘Rolo’, who is by Breitling W, looked completely at ease in the Windsor arena, posting 79.85% to add to their 74% grand prix victory the night before.
“I really enjoyed it out there tonight,” said Carl. “We’ve had Barolo since he was six, but we’ve come a long way getting him strong and mentally ready for tonight as he’s not a very brave horse. But he’s cute and lovely, and I want to get everything out of him so there’s more to come.”
The pair produced a mistake-free test, with bold extensions and clean, expressive changes.
Fighting it out for second were Hayley Watson-Greaves and Gareth Hughes, and it was Hayley who just had the edge, scoring 76.725% with the 13-year-old Rubins Nite. The black gelding by Rubin-Royal can often be spooky and tense but was bang on the beat tonight.
“I love doing the music, and this year he’s come out feeling a lot more rideable rather than being terrified of everything,” said Hayley. “He had a few spooks last night and tonight but generally he’s a lot more confident.”
Gareth Hughes slotted into third with Anne Keen’s 12-year-old Don Carissimo, who pulled off a super test to score 76.625% at this very early stage in his grand prix career.
“This was ‘Darcy’s’ first freestyle and only his second outdoor grand prix,” said Gareth of the Don Crusador son. “He was nervous in there yesterday but tried really hard, and he was brilliant again tonight. We just need more match practice now.”
Richard Davison and Bubblingh, and Lara Butler (nee Griffiths) with Rubin Al Asad completed the top five.