Double of wins for Carl Hester

Carl secured two Grand Prix wins in what was his first time competing at the ICE Horseboxes All England Dressage Festival

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Olympic gold medallist Carl Hester was in dominant form today at the ICE Horseboxes All England Dressage Festival, with a double of Grand Prix wins.

With exciting new ride Fame, Carl won the CDI Grand Prix with 76.326%, ahead of his London 2012 teammate Laura Tomlinson and DSP Rose of Bavaria.

“Fame has to be one of the most amazing horses I've ever ridden – but he's also extremely hot,” said Carl. “He has this fire in him that’s quite difficult to temper, and I'm just getting used to it.”

Fame was previously ridden by Carl’s friend and teammate Fiona Bigwood, and he took over the ride about five months ago. “This is only the third Grand Prix test I've done on him. But he's a dream to ride, he has so much energy and enthusiasm, and he never gets tired.”

Today also marked the competition return of Carl’s Tokyo ride En Vogue. The 14-year-old gelding scored 75.109% to win the LeMieux Premier League FEI Grand Prix, ahead of Germany’s Kathleen Kroencke and Uniteds Maerchen (72.681%).

It was En Vogue’s first test in more than a year. “He’s actually been back in work for six months, but I've been waiting for the summer season to start as he’s much more an outdoor horse than an indoor horse, so that's why he hasn't been seen so far this year,” explained Carl. “I decided to do the Premier League to give him a nice gentle introduction. He's just such a lovely ride as well as being kind of quirky and sensitive, which seems to be my pattern at the moment to go for those types of horses – I've always liked them!”

Carl thinks both horses could be possible contenders for this year’s European Championships, as well as next year’s Paris Olympics, and today’s double of wins will have certainly helped his selection chances.

On Sunday, Carl rides Fame again in the CDI Grand Prix Special. “My favourite test! Anyone that watched our test today can see he's a great horse at piaffe, passage and extended trot, and the Special is all about that, so I'm looking forward to riding him around there, and hopefully he’ll be a little bit quieter as well after today!”

It was Carl’s first time competing at the ICE Horseboxes All England Dressage Festival at the main showground, though he has had countless wins at the previous Dressage at Hickstead site. “It's been years since I've ridden here, so to be back here riding again is fantastic. It’s a brilliant show, and I want to thank everybody involved in organising this for us,” he added.

After their win in Friday’s Premier League Prix St Georges, Alexander Harrison and Kickback were back at the top of the leaderboard in the Saracen Horse Feeds Premier League FEI Intermediate I.

The Fairfax Saddles Premier League FEI Prix St George came down to the wire, with Maddy Frewin and Izonik (70.833%) finishing fractionally ahead of Davy Harvey and Diamond Blue (70.686).

For all today’s results click here.

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