British dressage team likely to be without Carl Hester for the first time in 14 years

  • Britain is likely to be without Carl Hester at a senior championship for the first time in 14 years, as he has withdrawn from the Wellington CDI3* (9-12 June).

    H&H reported last month that Carl’s top ride En Vogue had been ruled out of this summer’s dressage World Championships in August owing to an injury. It was then confirmed that Carl would temporarily take over the reins of the Kroll family’s KK Woodstock, the top-level ride of fellow British team rider Gareth Hughes.

    The plan was for the combination to compete at Wellington CDI, and possibly Bolesworth CDI at the end of June, at which they had the chance to achieve qualifying scores and so be eligible for selection for the four-strong British team for Herning.

    The Bolesworth event has since been cancelled, and Carl feels the time he has had with 16-year-old “Woody” is “not quite long enough to have formed the partnership he would have liked before making their competition debut together”.

    He said: “I’d like to take this opportunity to thank Gareth and the Kroll family for their kind offer and all of their support to Team GBR, however I feel that there is not enough time to do the horse justice, and bearing in mind that Gareth has some more shows scheduled for the horse, he has now returned to Gareth to continue his summer season.”

    To qualify for the World Championships, which will take place at Herning, Denmark, from 6-14 August, combinations must score at least 66% in a grand prix at two different CDI or CDIO events between 1 January 2021 and the date of nominated entries. This would have been possible in this country had Bolesworth run but there are no more international dressage shows in Britain before the 4 July deadline.

    Carl Hester has represented Britain at every senior championship since 2008, winning 13 medals of all colours along the way. He told H&H his goal for the 13-year-old En Vogue, who was expected to be out for about six weeks, is the 2024 Paris Olympics.

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