Nettex catch up with brand ambassador, Carl Hester

It’s been a busy first half of the year. As everyone is probably aware by now Charlotte and I both have new Grand Prix horses this year that we are aiming to be part of Team GBR. We have spent the first part of the year getting them out to see how they cope with the atmosphere of big shows and their attitude at this top level.

Charlotte has done well with MSJ Freestyle she has now proved her capabilities and talent – the new Mrs Valegro!

A little bit more tricky is my ride Hawtins Delicato, he is a little greener then Freestyle and has a much hotter temperament so we have had to take it a little more slowly with him so we don’t frighten him or blow his brains! I have taken him to a few shows and his first big one Royal Windsor Horse Show was a huge success for the whole of the stable yard. Charlotte and I were both incredibly impressed with their temperaments and their ability to cope with such a highly pressurised atmosphere.

It made a nice change to go back to Windsor on the Sunday to judge the Supreme  Championship. It was a real honour to be invited to sit in the Royal Box,  Charlotte and I sat  just two seats away from the Queen. As any of you who were there would have seen we chose Robert Walker as our Supreme Champion. Sixteen champions in each of their class came forward to be considered for the Supreme Champion and Charlotte and I had three of them in mind as we watched them move around the main arena.  All of the horses were beautiful but Robert’s horse Viewpoint was such a very impressive Hunter that he just had to take the honours! He looked very light to ride and had a great length of frame and looked incredibly uphill as he carried Robert around the ring. A true Supreme Champion!

After RWHS I took Delicato to Somerford Premier league with the aim of taking his head out of the clouds after his experience at Royal Windsor. He was absolutely great and with a score of just over 75% in the Grand Prix I think he has realised that it’s just another show – they don’t all have to be such a huge atmosphere!

On a social note we will also be going to the wedding of Lucy Cartwright and Daniel Bremner at the beginning of June and we are really looking forward to that.  Lucy and Daniel met at my yard when they were both working for me and it will be fabulous to see them tie the knot in the beautiful Cotswolds.

I am also looking forward to the middle of June which will see us taking the horses to Bolesworth International,  it’s an amazing show it’s really good fun and the crowds are fantastic. I will be doing the GP with Del so that he keeps on building his experience and gaining to more confidence in the arena.

The rain has been a bit of a nuisance this spring. Everyone knows that I believe in letting my horses have down time in the fields but due to the boggy nature of our pasture land it has been rather tricky to do this. So keeping them mentally sound can be tricky so we do lots of hacking, grazing in hand and hours walking them in hand around the arenas.

We do lots of in hand work with some of the advanced horses to help them learn the piaffe steps without the rider on top. I work with Florian Bacher from the Spanish Riding School on this and he comes over to help us and it really makes a difference.

I am thrilled with my team. Sadie had a very successful time at the BD Winter Championships  on her own horse and she has some of my younger horses that she is taking out this season.

As a lover of coloured horses and less conventional dressage horses it’s great that the Nettex Associated Championships in conjunction with British Dressage bring together all types of breeds to compete. It’s a great opportunity for anyone who wants to compete against their peers and to have a Championship show to aim for makes it special. So for all the riders out there who have lots of fun with their horse – give dressage a try and get yourself qualified for the Nettex Associated Championships.


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