‘Charlotte has paid me back for giving her Valegro’: Carl Hester reveals exciting new grand prix ride *H&H Plus*

  • Dressage legend Carl Hester has taken over the ride on one of Charlotte Dujardin’s horses, who he believes has potential to represent Britain at international championship level as soon as next year...

    Carl Hester has revealed an exciting new grand prix ride that he hopes will be a prospect for the Tokyo Olympics in 2021, alongside his own and Anne Cory’s Hawtins Delicato.

    As of February this year, Carl has taken over the ride on Charlotte Dujardin’s 11-year-old En Vogue, who has already scored over 80% in one of his early grand prix classes.

    “Charlotte has very kindly paid me back – I gave her Valegro to ride, and now she’s given me Vogue,” Carl told H&H.

    “He gives me the feeling of a very powerful top horse and I can’t wait to get my teeth stuck into working with him. He’s definitely a potential prospect for Tokyo, alongside Hawtins Delicato.”

    Carl Hester rides En Vogue at home in Gloucestershire. Credit: Ben Neal

    The Jazz x Contango gelding is known for being extremely hot – Charlotte described him as being “petrified of everything and completely wild” when she first bought him from Sandra Biddlecombe as a project.

    But despite being lightly competed to date, Vogue has had some notable results, finishing second to Charlotte’s world bronze medallist Mount St John Freestyle in the national prix st georges and inter I championships in 2017, and also claiming the runner-up spot behind Carl’s team horse Hawtins Delicato at the Liverpool International Horse show later that same year.

    Vogue and Charlotte made their grand prix debut in 2018, and scored 81.4% in just their second test at the level, on what was the horse’s last outing, in February 2019.

    “He came out last year and did a grand prix but because he’s so hot and we were so busy with the others, he ended up having an easy year and not really competing,” explained Carl.

    “He always had huge talent for grand prix – he just needed to go out to shows and see things. He’s now matured a lot, and he knows his way around the grand prix test. He just needs confidence now.

    “I’ve always loved Vogue and enjoyed riding him,” added Carl. “He actually reminds me a lot of riding Nip Tuck, not in their bodies as they’re very different in that respect, but they give the same feeling – they are both very sensitive.”

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