An action-packed day two saw Olympic pair Carl Hester and Charlotte Dujardin begin their Rio warm-up in style at the Hartpury Festival of Dressage.
The duo, who are using the festival as their last event before heading to Brazil, claimed a win each on Thursday, with Carl taking top spot ahead of Charlotte in the Lemieux FEI Grand Prix, while she claimed first place in the Young Horse Prix St. Georges Qualifier.
However, Charlotte and Valegro were the big stars on Friday, coming out in their first competition for some time to score 83.28% in the Horsescout.com FEI CDI Grand Prix. On 78.2, Carl Hester’s Nip Tuck was second (watch their test on this link), with the other two Olympic teammates coming third and fourth: Spencer Wilton and Super Nova II were third on 77.5% and Fiona Bigwood and Atterupgaards Orthilia were fourth on 75.14%. Henriette Anderson on Warlocks Charm was fifth on 69.7%.
Charlotte will warm up for her bid for Olympic glory by performing in the NAF Superflex Grand Prix Freestyle at Saturday’s gala evening (July 9). This evening is always the highlight of the Festival, and you can catch all the action on the livestream.
Carl and Nip Tuck are also entered for the Baileys Horse Feeds Grand Prix Special on Sunday, July 10, starting at 3.45pm (UK time).
Both Charlotte and Carl appealed for the crowds to come out in force to help create an Olympic atmosphere for the Team GB competitors and their horses, and it has worked, with the venue being sold out for Saturday.
“Both Charlotte and I love performing at the Festival and the spectators and support staff are always fantastic,” said Carl.
“There’s always a very special atmosphere and it would be fantastic to see the banks packed. It would be the best possible preparation for the horses to perform in front of a lot of people, as they will in Rio, and it’s a great opportunity for people to show their support for Team GB ahead of the Olympics.”
Earlier in the Show
Thursday morning’s action included the Young Horse Prix St Georges Qualifier in the international Hartpury Arena. With the top eight going through to the British Young Horse Championship at Saturday’s star-studded gala evening, competition was fierce, and there was less than one per cent between the top three scores.
Charlotte Dujardin and Hawtins Delicato took the lead with 75.66%, closely followed by Sonnar Murray-Brown and Erientanz on 75.04%. Michael Eilberg stole the third spot aboard SA Couer with 74.78%. Kicking off the class and the entire day’s action was Hartpury Equine Academy rider and Sports and Exercise Nutrition degree student, Lily Hewitt. Lily, who is a member of the Great Britain Young Riders dressage squad, scored 64.3% on Sir Charlie Chaplin. You can watch Charlotte’s test on this link.
Meanwhile it was Carl Hester and Wanadoo who stole the show in the afternoon’s Lemieux FEI Grand Prix. Their score of 74.78% was enough to edge Charlotte and Barolo into second place. Katherine Bateson-Chandler was third. You can watch Carl’s test on Wanadoo here.
Izzy Palmer and Pinnochio were the stars of the para action, winning the Grade III Individual Championship Test with 71.098%.
Sophie Wells continued her fine form and again took the two top spots in the Grade IV, replicating – with almost the same score – last year’s results. She was first on Valerius with 74.429% and second on C Fatal Attraction with 72.262%.
The Grade 1a win went to Anne Dunham on LJT Lucas Normark with 73.080%. Lee Pearson and Zion took the top spot in Grade 1b on 72.862%, and Natasha Baker and Cabral capped the morning of para competition off with another win in the Grade II on 74.857%.