Carl Hester won the FEI World Cup dressage grand prix, supported by Horse & Hound, at Olympia tonight (13 December).
The British star and his Rio Olympic team silver medallist Nip Tuck, owned by his rider and Jane de la Mare, scored 77.54% to take the class with a neat, consistent test. The pair received a standing ovation from the crowd at the prize-giving — for which Carl swapped his top hat for a crash helmet.
Carl and “Barney” were second in the grand prix here last year before going on to win the freestyle.
“Last year it took him until the music to settle, but today he was actually really settled,” said Carl, who had a cheeky grin to himself as he went round the outside of the arena before the test. “I thought I’d better start smiling — I thought: ‘I’m not sure if he’s going to turn round in a minute, I’ll do it before I come off’.”
The Netherlands took the next two places, with reigning World Cup champion Hans Peter Minderhoud second on Glock’s Flirt (76.3%) and his partner Edward Gal third on Glock’s Voice (74.3%).
British riders slotted into fourth and fifth. Emile Faurie sat fourth with Weekend Fun on 72.06% and Hayley Watson-Greaves did an excellent test on Rubins Nite for 71.4% and fifth.
Ireland’s Judy Reynolds had a disappointing time with her Rio ride Vancouver K, who looked hot and made a number of mistakes, including a big disagreement on the final centreline, for ninth.
Britain’s London 2012 team gold medallist Laura Tomlinson also did not have the test she hoped for with Rosalie B, with issues in the piaffe and mistakes in both the one-time and two-time changes. She later tweeted that the mare was “not feeling herself at all today” and had been “not herself in the stable all day, very flat and quiet”. She has withdrawn before tomorrow’s freestyle.
The capacity crowd enjoyed seeing double Olympic individual gold medallists Charlotte Dujardin and Valegro before the class tonight. The multi-medalled superstar Valegro has his official retirement ceremony at Olympia tomorrow, when 13 riders will also battle it out for the World Cup qualifier freestyle honours.
There were 15 starters today, but Japanese rider Akane Kuroki (Toots) did not achieve the minimum 60% required to qualify for the freestyle.
- Carl Hester on Nip Tuck (GBR) 77.54
- Hans Peter Minderhoud on Glock’s Flirt (NED) 76.3%
- Edward Gal on Glock’s Voice (NED) 74.3%
- Emile Faurie on Weekend Fun (GBR) 72.06%
- Hayley Watson-Greaves on Rubins Nite (GBR) 71.4%
- Katka Gevers on Thriller (NED) 71.04%
- Michael Eilberg on Marakov (GBR) 71.02%
- Henriette Andersen on Warlocks Charm 70.96%
- Judy Reynolds on Vancouver K (IRE) 70.46%
- Mai Tofte Olesen on Rustique (DEN) 68.86
- Ludovic Henry on After You (FRA) 68.64%
- Stephanie Brieussel on Amorak (FRA) 68.3%
- Laura Tomlinson on Rosalie B (GBR) 66.28%
- Miguel Ralao Duarte on Xenofonte D’Atela (POR) 66.04%
- Akane Kuroki on Toots (JPN) 59.28%