‘A huge honour – but it was scary!’: Carl Hester awarded honorary degree from Hartpury University

  • Carl Hester has described being awarded an honorary degree from Hartpury University a “big honour”.

    “I was supposed to receive it last year but of course I couldn’t [owing to the pandemic], so I somewhat forgot about it. It was a big honour to finally get it,” Carl told H&H, after receiving the honorary bachelor of science degree with honours. 

    He was awarded the honours in “acknowledgement of [his] outstanding achievements in the equestrian field and for [his] long-standing relationship with Hartpury”. 

    In a glittering dressage career that spans more than 20 years, Carl Hester has amassed 13 championship medals, including team gold and double individual silver at the European Championships in 2011 as well as team gold at the London Olympics in 2012 with Uthopia. In 2021, Carl was a member of the British bronze medal-winning Olympic team riding En Vogue, and the pair also went on to help claim team silver for Britain at the European Championships in September. 

    “Being awarded the honorary degree was very nice but it was a bit scary actually – I had to go to Gloucester Cathedral and the principal asked me to get up in the pulpit and make a speech,” said Carl, whose base, near Newent in Gloucestershire, is around 10 miles from Hartpury.

    “I was a bit unprepared but it was a good opportunity for me to thank Hartpury, particularly for the way they allow their facilities to be used for all disciplines.

    “I never look forward to public speaking but I did my best and feel very humbled to receive it.”

    “I’m not sure if you can really call me Dr Hester now though,” he joked.

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