British Olympic medal hopes in action at Hickstead

Two of the most successful British Dressage riders of all time are among entries for the I.C.E. Horseboxes All England Dressage Festival 

Charlotte Dujardin ALIVE AND KICKING Ellie's Photos (22)

Between them, Carl Hester and Charlotte Dujardin have already clocked up an impressive amount of Olympic medals. With the Paris Games fast approaching, the Gloucestershire-based riders are very likely to feature on the British team, where they will be aiming to add to their medal haul.

The pair, who are reigning European champions, are among those in action at the upcoming I.C.E. Horseboxes All England Dressage Festival at Hickstead (7-12 May). Carl made his Olympic debut in 1992 and has competed at six Games in total, winning team gold at London 2012, team silver in Rio 2016, and a team bronze at Tokyo. He is bringing his top horse Fame to Hickstead, in the hope of retaining the CDI Grand Prix title they won 12 months earlier.

Carl’s protégée Charlotte Dujardin has become Britain’s most successful dressage rider of all time, mostly thanks to her extraordinary partnership with Valegro. She is aiming for selection for her fourth Games this summer, after winning team and individual gold in London and individual gold and team silver in Rio on Valegro, and team and individual bronze in Tokyo with Gio.

Dujardin will be bringing two rides for the international classes at Hickstead, including her European team gold medallist Imhotep, and the fast-rising star Alive and Kicking. Charlotte last competed at Hickstead in 2022, and she makes her competitive return to the showground for the first time since the birth of her daughter Isabella last spring.

“Carl and Charlotte are the two biggest names in British dressage, and we are delighted to welcome them both back for this year’s I.C.E. Horseboxes All England Dressage Festival,” said Hickstead Director Lizzie Bunn. “This is one of a handful of international fixtures to take place on British soil, and will no doubt be an important part of their Olympic selection campaign. With free parking and admission, it’s the perfect opportunity to witness these world-class riders in action.”

Other big names to look out for include Gareth Hughes, who was travelling reserve for Tokyo. He has entered Classic Goldstrike and will also be giving an exclusive Masterclass on the Saturday evening during the break in the Freestyle to Music, when spectators can enjoy a barbecue followed by live music after the class.

Former Olympian Emma Hindle has two horses entered in the CDI classes, Rosmarin and Zippo M.I. Australian Olympic hopeful Jayden Brown brings two rides, Willingapark Quincy B and Willingapark Sky Diamond. Other names to look out for include showing rider turned dressage star Louise Bell, who brings the in-form Into The Blue, and British rider Andrew Gould with Genie. There are entries from Ireland, Finland, Singapore and Italy.

The fixture gets underway on Tuesday 7 May with three days of CPEDI (international para-dressage) classes. British Paralympic medallists in action include Georgia Wilson, Sophie Wells and Sophie Christiansen, while Natasha Baker is seeking a return to the team following the birth of her first son Joshua in 2023.

For timetables and more information, click here

 

Parking and admission is free for spectators. The event will be livestreamed on Horse & Country TV

 

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