From Carl Hester on a new ride to Charlotte Dujardin’s latest international debutant – six riders to watch at Wellington CDI

  • The Wellington CDI will take place in Heckfield, Hampshire this week (9-12 June), as the first outdoor international of the season in Britain, and there are plenty of interesting combinations set to do battle across the levels. Here are just a few to keep your eyes open for…

    Carl Hester’s first outing with his 2022 catch ride

    Carl Hester on KK Woodstock

    All eyes will be on Carl Hester as he makes his competitive debut on KK Woodstock, the Kroll family’s grand prix horse usually campaigned by Gareth Hughes. With Carl’s top horse En Vogue out of action, Gareth and the Krolls have handed Carl the ride on “Woody” for the summer. While Carl’s competitive options to qualify Woody to compete at the dressage World Championships this August are now limited after the cancellation of Bolesworth CDI, it will be fantastic to see this pair in action at grand prix, less than month after Carl sat on the 16-year-old Wolkentanz II son.

    Charlotte Dujardin with her international newbies

    Winter Dressage Championships timetable

    Charlotte Dujardin has two horses in action at Wellington CDI: her World Championships hopeful Imhotep (above), who made his international debut last month in Compiegne, France, will compete at grand prix, while Charlotte will also ride Annabella Pidgley’s Hilus MHB at small tour. This will be 10-year-old Hilus’ first senior international show and just Charlotte’s third competition with him. The pair scored a double win at prix st georges and inter I at the Hickstead Premier League in May – what can they achieve this time?

    Trio of exciting rides for Gareth Hughes

    European dressage championships Gareth Hughes

    Gareth Hughes is flush with super exciting rides at the moment and he brings forward two for the grand prix: his 2021 European silver medallist and Tokyo Olympic alternate Sintano Van Hof Olympia (above), and his top mare Classic Briolinca, who made a winning comeback after 18 months out last month. Both are key contenders for a spot on the British team at the World Championships. Gareth will also contest the small tour with Happiness, a 10-year-old who took inter I victory at Le Mans in May and looks set to be a star of the future.

    An under-25 combination stepping up to the big time

    dressage rider Lewis Carrier

    Lewis Carrier and Diego V are familiar names in under-25 ranks but they’ve stepped up to senior grand prix internationally this year, and following a double win in the grand prix and grand prix special at Somerford Premier League last week, Lewis has switched to compete in the senior big tour at Wellington. Diego has far exceeded Lewis’ expectations since he was purchased as a young rider’s prospect, and it will be exciting to see them progress at top level.

    An international debutant who looks set for stardom

    The 11-year-old Blue Hors Zack son Zackery has made quite the impact on the national scene during the past few months, with a high-scoring double win at Hickstead Premier League recently, and he will make his international debut under Henriette Andersen at Wellington CDI. Henriette has had the gelding since he was a foal and says that he used to be something of a worrier, but now he is brilliantly focused once in the ring. He is definitely one to watch.

    Two familiar names who have paired up this season

    New young rider combination Maddy Frewin and Eagle Nouvelle will make their international debut at Wellington. Maddy, 18, took over the ride on Hannah Dovey’s 13-year-old Singapore gelding “Eddie”, who was previously competed at grand prix by Katie Bailey. With Katie, Eddie was national winter PSG champion in 2019, and now looks set to become an exciting young riders partner for Maddy.

    Don’t miss our extensive coverage of the Wellington CDI, as well as the Premier League and Festival of Para Dressage which run concurrently, in 16 June issue of Horse & Hound magazine.

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