The rain may have been hammering down at Royal Windsor Horse Show all day yesterday (14 May), but it didn’t dampen Carl Hester’s spirits after his winning ride on his own and Jane de la Mare’s Nip Tuck (Don Ruto x Animo).

After a “green and wobbly” performance in this ride last year, the pair returned to Windsor looking polished and relaxed. They scored 75.38%.

This time round, Carl said the ride “felt like a personal best” despite a couple of small blips. In this video, Carl explains why Nip Tuck tried to come out of two of the piaffes early and blames himself entirely for the mistakes.

Watch the video above to see action from the test, and get Carl’s reaction as Nip Tuck continues his unbeaten run in grand prix classes this year.

H&H also caught up with other riders after their grand prix tests, including an emotional Fiona Bigwood, who has made a stunning return to competition after a near career-ending injury last year. She explains why she rides with an eye patch and also told H&H that she is hoping to have a series of operations this year to fix the problem.

She is now looking to the future with her rising star Atterupgaards Orthilia and must be eyeing up a place on the British team at the European Championships in Aachen in August.

Ever-competitive Alice Oppenheimer, who took fourth in this class with Headmore Delegate, was following her win in Wednesday’s advanced medium freestyle with Tantoni Sir Soccrates, while Lara Griffith (Rubin Al Asad) got a soggy reminder of typically British weather after spending three months soaking up the sun on the competition circuit in Florida. She shares her trepidation about performing Rubin Al Asad’s (Rufus) first ever grand prix freestyle to music.

For a full report on all the action from Royal Windsor, don’t miss Horse & Hound magazine on Thursday, 21 May