‘It’s unfortunate timing’: Carl Hester withdraws En Vogue from Hickstead Premier League

  • Carl Hester has withdrawn his top horse En Vogue from this weekend’s Hickstead Premier League (12-15 May). The pair had been due to compete in the grand prix and grand prix special at the I.C.E Horseboxes All England Dressage Festival Premier League at Hickstead.

    “He got an injury at the end of last week so needs some time off,” Carl told H&H. “It’s particularly gutting at this time of year when I wanted to get going, but I don’t want to rush him into work. It is just unfortunate timing.”

    Carl and the 13-year-old Jazz gelding last competed at the Keysoe CDI in March, where they came away with two wins in the grand prix and the grand prix special, despite some nerves and tension displayed by the hot gelding. Carl explained that, for several reasons, he had opted to target national shows over foreign internationals during the early part of the summer season, starting with Hickstead Premier League.

    Carl and En Vogue won team bronze at the Tokyo Olympics last year, as well as team silver at the European Championships some seven weeks later. They would be among the favourites for a place on the British team for this summer’s dressage World Championships, taking place in Herning, Denmark, on 6-10 August.

    Other top riders entered for the grand prix at Hickstead Premier League include Gareth Hughes, who rode alongside Carl Hester at the European Championships last year. He is set to compete KK Dominant and KK Woodstock. Fiona Bigwood will be in action on Daytona Platinum, as well as last year’s winner at this show, Anna Ross, this year with Delgado and Habouche.

    Charlotte Dujardin will be in action in the small tour classes, riding Alive And Kicking, an eight-year-old All At Once mare whom Charlotte bought in 2018, at prix st georges (PSG) level and Hilus MHB at PSG and inter I. Hilus is a 10-year-old Johnson son owned by Annabella Pidgley, and this will be just his second competitive outing under Charlotte, having scored 80% at PSG in January with her in the saddle.

    Charlotte’s 2021 Olympic and European individual medal-winning ride Gio will also be in action at Hickstead, contesting the under-25 grand prix and inter II classes with new owner Annabella Pidgley. The 17-year-old has already made a super start to her career with the 11-year-old Apache gelding, including inter II victories at Myerscough and Keysoe Premier Leagues this spring.

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