Windsor dressage: Carl Hester wins freestyle, but Fiona Bigwood’s horse is talk of the town

  • Carl Hester won the Windsor grand prix freestyle under spotlights tonight (15 May) with his own and Jane de la Mare’s Nip Tuck.

    They were just shy of their 80% target, posting 79.45% in front of the appreciative sell-out crowd.

    Carl rode to a ‘God save the Queen’ medley, apt as the Queen had been at the show that day.
    “I hope she was watching,” said Carl with a grin. “We didn’t quite hit that 80% as he didn’t walk quite as well tonight; the music made him a bit hotter.”

    He will next head to Austria for Fritzens CDI (26-28 June).

    The second-placed horse, Fiona Bigwood’s Atterrupgaards Orthilia, will also make the trip to the picturesque Alpine venue.

    The Gribaldi mare – who attracted high praise from all quarters – scored 76.5%.

    “I’m so pleased,” said Fiona, who was riding with one eye covered to help prevent double vision caused by a fall last year.

    “There were more people here tonight than for grand prix night and they clapped just before we went in, so I wasn’t sure how she’d react.”

    She rode to her former grand prix horse Mr G’s freestyle.

    Fiona’s husband Anders Dahl filled third place with Wie Atlantico, a 16-year-old who has been competing at grand prix for eight years.

    Anders, who rides for Denmark, was pleased with the Wie Weltmeyer’s performance, which earned 71.9%.

    His compatriot Sune Hansen – who is also now based in Britain – was fourth on the attractive chestnut Charmeur with 71.55%.

    The best of the Brits in the chasing pack were Hayley Watson-Greaves and the 11-year-old Rubin Royal gelding Rubins Nite, who cemented their recent good form at the sport’s top level.

    Last night’s fourth-placed rider Alice Oppenheimer slipped to fourth, once again falling frustratingly short of the 70% mark. But given that Alice had been suffering from tonsilitis all week, her results were very creditable.

    Click here for full results.

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