Carl Hester to continue Rio medal-winner’s comeback at Royal Windsor

Carl Hester and his world, Olympic and European silver medallist Nip Tuck are set to spearhead the British dressage contingent at Windsor CDI4* next month (8-12 May).

This will be just “Barney’s” second competition since finishing individual fourth at the European Championships in 2017 — the horse made a winning comeback with Carl at the Keysoe CDI3* in March after enjoying an extended holiday.

Carl and the 15-year-old Don Ruto x Animo gelding have been lynchpins of the British team in recent years, helping claim medals at the 2014 World Equestrian Games in Caen, the 2015 European Championships in Aachen and the 2016 Rio Olympics. They also finished third at the World Cup final in Omaha in 2017 and last competed at Windsor in 2015, where they won both the grand prix and the freestyle with almost 80%.

Last year’s Windsor winner, Charlotte Dujardin, will also compete again, this year partnering the 12-year-old Erlentanz. The Latimer son is usually ridden by Sonnar Murray-Brown, but Charlotte has taken over the reins while Sonnar recovers from a broken leg. The horse made his international debut with Charlotte last month at Keysoe, where they finished second to Carl and Barney in both the grand prix and the freestyle.

A third British Olympian will be in action at Windsor, in the form of Richard Davison riding his home-bred Lingh gelding Bubblingh. This pair finished third and fourth at Windsor in 2018 and will be looking to improve on that placing this year.

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Vicky Thompson-Winfield on the impressive PRE stallion Mango Jacaro and Louise Bell riding Into The Blue complete the British contingent, with both combinations making their Windsor debuts.

Riders from seven other nations will come forward, including three from Ireland — Kate Dwyer (Snowdon Faberge), Heike Holstein (Sambuca) and Dane Rawlins (Espoire). Katherine Bateson Chandler will represent the USA with Alcazar — winner of the grand prix freestyle national title with Carl Hester in 2017 — while riders from Denmark, Finland, Iran, the Netherlands and Singapore make up the rest of the 14-strong line-up.

The grand prix is set to take place on Thursday, 9 May, with the grand prix freestyle on Friday, 10 May.

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