Re-live some highlights from last week’s Wellington CDI3* as we take a closer look at Carl Hester and Charlotte Dujardin’s tests
Carl Hester and Charlotte Dujardin each had a personal best score to celebrate at last week’s Wellington CDI3*. Carl achieved the highest grand prix score he has so far with the 12-year-old Jazz gelding En Vogue, of 77.5%, while Charlotte and Gio posted a winning score of 81.43% in the 10-year-old Apache son’s first grand prix special. We take a look at each of the tests.
Carl got his grand prix off to a strong start, impressing the judges at the first opportunity with this beautifully square halt. It earned him a score of 10 from Peter Storr, judging at E, with the other top judges awarding it eights and nines.
En Vogue showed gorgeous, sweeping half-passes in trot – this one to the right received marks of nine from Peter Storr at E and Isobel Wessels at H, with eights and 8.5s from the other three judges.
“Vogue’s general way of going and his confidence in the piaffe and passage was really good,” Carl told H&H after his test, and the Jazz son’s piaffes certainly pulled in high marks, with this one scoring eights and nines across the board.
Carl and Vogue’s canter section was full of highlights, with big scores for his extended canter, two-time changes and pirouettes. Unfortunately, his marks dropped for the one-time changes, as they only showed 13 instead of the required 15.
“I asked for 15 but just didn’t get the last two,” explained Carl, a welcome reminder that even for the very best riders, things don’t always go quite to plan in the arena.
The pair’s final score was 77.5%, the highest they have achieved together in a grand prix so far. However, their performance divided the judges, with individual marks ranging from 80.98% down to 72.94%.
Charlotte Dujardin and Gio cause a stir
The following day, Charlotte Dujardin and Gio put in a superb performance to win the special with over 81% – just the first time this 10-year-old has performed this tricky test in competition.
The extended trot is not this compact little gelding’s strongest movement, but Charlotte has worked hard on improving it over the past year and in this test the many extended trot sections earned him marks ranging from seven to 8.5.
While extensions may not be his forte, Gio really shines in the collected work with a bouncy, rhythmic passage that earned a multitude of nines here, plus 10s from Isobel Wessels, judging at C, and Denmark’s Susanne Baarup at M.
Gio’s piaffe is looking stronger and more secure with every competition he gathers under his belt. This one pictured received marks of 7.5, eight and 8.5 from the judges.
The canter section really helped boost Gio’s overall score, being mistake-free and of a very high quality. The highest marks were awarded for his pirouettes, which earned a 10 from Peter Storr at B, and his tempi changes, which earned eights from every judge.
“I just wanted a clear round and he did that,” said Charlotte of her special. “It wasn’t perfect, but with horses we can’t be perfect all the time.”
Well, it looked pretty good to us!
For the full report from Wellington CDI3*, don’t miss this week’s issue, out on 20 May.
Horse & Hound magazine, out every Thursday, is packed with all the latest news and reports, as well as interviews, specials, nostalgia, vet and training advice. Find how you can enjoy the magazine delivered to your door every week, plus options to upgrade to access our H&H Plus online service which brings you breaking news as it happens as well as other benefits.