Carl Hester cashed in at the three-day Premier League at Addington, heading four classes after returning from the gambling city of Las Vegas and the World Cup final, where he finished ninth.
The triple Olympian was short on luck on his journey Stateside with Escapado, enduring a nightmare 22-hour flight via Greenland and Canada before finally reaching Nevada.
But Carl hit the jackpot closer to home. He took the top spot with each of his three mounts at the Belstane Marketing-sponsored show with success from young horse to grand prix levels, including a double for Escapado in the grand prix and grand prix special with scores of 72.15% and 73.13%.
“Escapado came back from the World Cup two weeks ago and did a lecture/demo at Badminton before Addington. He went really well, probably because I’d finally got to the bottom of his energy after all the travelling we’ve been doing recently,” said Carl.
“The flight to Las Vegas should have taken 9hr, but there were technical problems and we took off and landed several times. Fortunately, he’s a very good traveller.
“Mind you, he’s not so great when we are taking other horses out of the yard without him. The lorry always has to park outside his stable when it loads because it just happens to be the safest area. He goes hysterical whenever we go anywhere and he’s not on board. It’s hilarious to watch!”
Carl also took the honours in the Rhinegold International five-year-old on Negretto and in a prix st georges with Pro-Set.
“Both are working stallions. They’re the first I’ve had who do covering and competition and they cope very well. I think that if they’re brought up like that they’re fine. In fact, Negretto covered in the morning before leaving for Addington,” added Carl.
Ferdi Eilberg finished runner-up in the grand prix with Teutone II on 68.81%, Tina Atkins and Swayze II took second place in the grand prix special, scoring 66.73%, while Spencer Wilton and Groove Jet finished just behind Carl in Saturday’s prix st georges, 24hr after pushing him into second place in the prix st georges A test.
Equalling Carl’s four wins was Peter Storr, who headed two five-year-old classes, the Rhinegold National and the Panacur qualifier, with Fellini Rio and topped Saturday’s inter I on Wild Dancer, as well as taking the prix st georges freestyle with 74.43%.