Carl Hester won the grand prix at the Hartpury Festival of Dressage with a score of 74.6% riding Nip Tuck. They also headed the grand prix special on 72.45%. The 10-year-old gelding by Don Ruto/Animo is in his first season of grand prix.
Until last year he had only been competed (other than in young horse classes) by Carl’s stable jockey Katie Bailey, who took “Barney” up to prix st georges.
Carl — who is not too hot on paperwork — bought Barney as a youngster from Holland, along with the full brother of Anne van Olst’s grand prix horse. He brought them back to England and sold on the other colt. But, three months later, he received a call to say the passport didn’t match the horse. To his horror, Carl realised he had mistakenly sold the full brother to Anne’s grand prix horse, rather than Barney as he had intended. Needless to say, the purchaser was not keen to swap. But that bitter pill must surely taste quite sweet now Nip Tuck is a multiple international grand prix winner.
Top tip: At 4min24sec in the video, recorded by HarveyWetDog, you can see how Carl positions the horse in shoulder-fore to help him maintain balance and straightness for the walk-passage transition at M.
Read Horse & Hound magazine’s full report from Hartpury Festival of Dressage, on sale Thursday 17 July, 2014