British Olympic team contenders set to headline dressage at Hickstead

  • Charlotte Dujardin and Carl Hester are set to headline a strong field of competitors at the I.C.E. Horseboxes All England Dressage Festival at Hickstead (7–12 May).

    Charlotte will be bringing two rides, her European individual bronze medallist Imhotep (Everdale x Vivaldi) and rising star Alive And Kicking (All At Once x Fürst Piccolo) – the same horses she took to Hagen CDI (24–28 April) where the pair were double winners in the CDI4* and CDI3* respectively.

    Charlotte last competed at Hickstead in 2022 where she won advanced medium and prix st georges (PSG) titles on Alive And Kicking. This year will mark her competitive return to the showground for the first time since the birth of her daughter Isabella last spring.

    Carl will be competing with his Olympic hopeful Fame (Bordeaux x Rhodium), as they look to defend the CDI grand prix and grand prix special titles they won in emphatic style at Hickstead last year.

    The combination look primed to take a spot on the three-person Olympic team, but Carl was taking nothing for granted when speaking to the press following the special at Hagen: “I’m not the only one trying, Lottie Fry and Becky Moody are also performing well.

    “We are at the beginning of the season, so we are still working on a little bit of trial and error, what is better here, what is better there, but I’m looking forward to getting back to the form we had last summer in the coming months.”

    Also entered in the international grand prix classes are Royal Windsor grand prix winners Gareth Hughes and Classic Goldstrike, two-time Olympian Emma Hindle with both Rosmarin and Zippo M.I, Australian Jayden Brown on Willingapark Quincy B and Willingapark Sky Diamond, Louise Bell who brings the in-form and evergreen Into The Blue as well as Andrew Gould with the 13-year-old stallion Genie.

    The fixture will also host a full Premier League schedule as well as three days of CPEDI classes with British Paralympic medallists in action, including Georgia Wilson, Sophie Wells and Sophie Christiansen, while Natasha Baker is set to make a return to competition following the birth of her first son Joshua in 2023.

    “Carl and Charlotte are the two biggest names in British dressage, and we are delighted to welcome them both back for this year’s I.C.E. Horseboxes All England Dressage Festival,” said Hickstead Director Lizzie Bunn. “This is one of a handful of international fixtures to take place on British soil, and will no doubt be an important part of their Olympic selection campaign. With free parking and admission, it’s the perfect opportunity to witness these world-class riders in action.”

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