Carl Hester and Charlotte Dujardin among Olympic medallists in action in Britain this weekend

  • Charlotte Dujardin and Carl Hester will spearhead a very strong contingent of riders at the I.C.E Horseboxes All England Dressage Festival Premier League at Hickstead this weekend (12-15 May). 

    Carl will ride his Olympic and European medallist En Vogue in the grand prix and grand prix special at Hickstead Premier League as they kick off their campaign for selection ahead of the dressage World Championships this summer in Herning. The pair claimed a double win at Keysoe CDI in March – their first outing since the European Championships in September (pictured) – and Carl has explained that his main focus during the early part of this season will be Premier Leagues and the national circuit with the 13-year-old Jazz gelding. 

    Also entered in the grand prix classes are European medallist Gareth Hughes, with KK Woodstock and KK Dominant, and the 2021 Hickstead Premier League grand prix winner Anna Ross, this year on Delgado and Habouche. Olympic medallist Fiona Bigwood is also set to compete with Daytona Platinum.

    Charlotte will target the small tour classes with two of her exciting upcoming horses. The first of these is Alive And Kicking, an eight-year-old All At Once mare whom Charlotte bought in 2018. The mare, known as Audrey, has been predominantly ridden by Charlotte McDowell up to prix st georges (PSG) level, including at the recent Winter Dressage Championships

    Charlotte Dujardin will also ride Hilius MHB, a 10-year-old Johnson son owned by Annabella Pidgley. This will be just their second competitive outing together, but hopes will be high after they scored a whopping 80% at PSG in January this year. 

    Charlotte’s 2021 Olympic and European individual medal-winning ride Gio will also be in action at Hickstead, though not ridden by Charlotte. Gio will contest the under-25 grand prix and inter II classes with new owner Annabella Pidgley, who 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.

    This will be the second running of the Hickstead Premier League at the main Hickstead site, having previously been held under the Dressage at Hickstead banner.

    “What a great line-up we’ve got for this year’s event,” said Hickstead director Lizzie Bunn. “Carl and Charlotte were regulars at the former Dressage at Hickstead site, and now we’re thrilled to see them back here at the main Hickstead showground.”

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