Carl Hester Down the Centerline Again after Almost One-Year Break from Competition

Sun, 01/29/2023 - 19:30
Great Britain
Carl Hester and Fiona Bigwood's Fame at the 2023 CDN Hartpury on 29 January 2023 :: Photo © Jess Photography

Carl Hester, Great Britain's most beloved and respected dressage trainer, is back in his tails after almost a one-year break from the competition ring. 

Hester last competed En Vogue at the CDI Keysoe in March 2022. The Dutch warmblood gelding injured himself and got ruled out for World Championship consideration. Hester briefly tried to qualify with KK Woodstock but ran out of time. 

The 55-year old Brit has been busy as ever, though, with a long list of students to train throughout the year. This weekend he was back in the saddle and down the centreline aboard Fiona Bigwood's Fame. 

Who is Fame?

Fame is a 13-year old Dutch warmblood by Bordeaux out of Bonaventura (by Rhodium x Havidoff). He is bred by M. Gerritsen. 

He was first trained and competed by Belgian Larissa Pauluis, who won bronze at the 2014 Belgian Young Horse Championships. In 2016  Fame sold to Swedish Jenny Linden Urnes of Christinelund Dressage and made his CDI debut at small tour level under Sofie Lexner in October 2018.

In 2019 Christinelund sold Fame to Fiona Bigwood. Fiona made her CDI debut on Fame at the 2021 CDI Zandhoven. In 2022 she competed him at Grand Prix level at CDI's in Keysoe, Sint-Truiden, Wellington Heckfield and Le Mans.

Down the Centerline

Fiona and Fame at the 2022 CDI Sint-Truiden
Fiona made her CDI debut on Fame at the 2021 CDI Zandhoven. In 2022 she competed him at CDI's in Keysoe, Sint-Truiden, Heckfield and Le Mans with mixed results

The six-time Olympian has taken over the ride on Fame and made a winning show debut in Hartpury on 29 January 2023.

"Well it’s been nearly a year since I rode down the centreline but I had a lovely Sunday ride today on Fiona Bigwood's ‘Fame’ in the Grand Prix for a win on 76%," Hester took to Instagram. "I actually really enjoyed myself with no pressure and just having fun. Being on teams is always great but mostly I just want to enjoy the ride and today was splendid."

Photo © Jess Photography - Astrid Appels

Related Links
Fiona Bigwood Makes Winning Grand Prix Debut on Fame
Carl Hester's En Vogue Injured, Herning Team Selection at Risk
Carl Hester to Ride KK Woodstock in Last Minute Attempt to Make it to Herning