Dressage fans can look forward to seeing Carl Hester and Charlotte Dujardin compete on two of their rising equine stars at the Liverpool International Horse Show later this month (29-31 December).

Carl will make his first competitive appearance on the horse he hopes will be his 2018 World Equestrian Games (WEG) ride, Hawtins Delicato, while Charlotte will pilot one of her up-and-coming stars, the quirky En Vogue. Both Olympic gold medallists will ride in the inter I freestyle on the Friday evening.

The nine-year-old Hawtins Delicato, whom Carl owns with Anne Cory, has already achieved international small tour success with Charlotte, winning the inter I and inter I freestyle at Hickstead CDI2* this year with a score of more than 77%.

The pair also claimed the inter II title at the BD national championships in September.

However, the Diamond Hit gelding was always intended to be Carl’s ride.

“I’ve had him since he was five and have trained him and ridden him all along,” Carl told H&H. “I’ve loved watching Charlotte ride him, but I decided it was about time I got my toe in an arena and found out what he’s like in a test. The plan is for him to start his grand prix career some time after Christmas, and I would like him to also be a second horse for Charlotte next year.”

Charlotte’s own eight-year-old En Vogue, who is by Jazz, also looks to be a future star. He finished second to Mount St John Freestyle in both the prix st georges and inter I championships at the British Dressage nationals in September. However, it hasn’t been an easy journey, with Charlotte revealing that the gelding was “wild as sin” when she bought him from Sandra Biddlecombe as a project.

“He snorted like a wild thing and you couldn’t catch him in the stable. Most people would have shot him!” Charlotte told H&H.

“It hasn’t always been easy with him, but we have formed a really special partnership now and I have such high hopes for this super horse for the future,” she added on her Facebook page.

“It’s so so exciting that we continue to have incredible shows like this [Liverpool] where we can debut our horses on the big stage in front of supportive crowds.”

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Carl and Charlotte will be challenged for the inter I freestyle title by British Olympic and Europeans team reserve rider Lara Butler, who will partner the Bechtolsheimers’ exciting 12-year-old Kristjan. The Polarion gelding finished third behind Mount St John Freestyle and En Vogue in the inter I freestyle at the BD nationals.

Becky Edwards is also set to compete at Liverpool with Headmore Delegate, while Kate Cowell will ride Samba Dancer. Charlie Hutton, Nicola Buchanan, Levi Hunt and Sarah Higgins are also confirmed to compete.

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