The week of CDI 5* competition at the Global Dressage Festival is arguably one of the most exciting weeks of the winter equestrian competition in Wellington, Florida. Dressage enthusiasts had the opportunity to see equestrians from around the world competing in the highest levels of dressage.
Engel and Völkers real estate advisor Carol Cohen took advantage of the opportunity to present her third Global Dressage Visionary Award of the season to British dressage Olympic Gold Medalist Carl Hester, who was at the show for the week training students and promoting his new book, Valegro: Champion Horse.
The Global Dressage Visionary Award was established by Carol Cohen to recognize professionals and dressage enthusiasts who have put an incredible amount of effort into the growth and promotion of classical dressage. This award distinguishes people who, like Carol Cohen, have followed through on their unique vision to make their beloved sport some of the best in the world. Hester, for his part, is an incredibly accomplished dressage rider and is also responsible for training other professional riders including Katherine Bateson-Chandler and Charlotte Dujardin.
“What an honor to win the same award as Robert Dover,” grinned Hester as Cohen presented him with the Global Dressage Visionary Award trophy, which Dover won earlier in the season. With a personality that is as spirited as Hester’s, it’s easy to see how the British Olympian is an instant fan favorite in the dressage community. Immense talent and work ethic compliment Hester’s personable attitude. Hester, who came from humble British Isle beginnings, was the youngest member of the British Olympic Dressage team when he was first named to the team, and he went on to win a team gold medal in the 2012 Olympics in London. Hester is also responsible for the training of several world-class horses, including the subject of his new book, Valegro. The book, which chronicles the journey of making the 14-year-old Dutch Warmblood gelding into a World Champion with his student, Charlotte Dujardin, was recently released and is available for purchase.
When Cohen asked Hester about his training methods, he explained, “We have great Olympic horses in my yard, and they have all come from strange backgrounds. Very often difficult horses come through and have great careers. Dressage is a long process and training horses is a long process, and you never know that they are going to make it until it happens.”
Cohen praised Hester’s dedication to dressage as she presented him with the Global Dressage Visionary Award. “We really look up to you here and we love the fact that you continue to come and support the riders and train incredible horses,” said Cohen.
The 2016 Adequan Global Dressage Festival located in Wellington, Florida, features 12 weeks of world-class dressage competition. The festival began on January 13, 2016 and will continue to April 2, 2016. Throughout this fifth annual Adequan Global Dressage Festival, there are seven CDIs and the only non-championship CDIO Nations Cup in the Western Hemisphere, as well as weekly U.S. National events, with a total of over $650,000 in prize money to be awarded to competitors.
Carol Cohen is thrilled to be a sponsor of the 2016 Adequan Global Dressage Festival and present the Global Dressage Visionary Award. Along with recognizing the sport’s influential players, Cohen also realizes that there must be a pipeline for young riders to enter the sport. To that end, she has joined forces with Equestrian Sport Productions and Robert Dover to present the first-ever Adequan Global Dressage leadline division throughout the 2016 season. The next leadline class will take place on February 28. “The community needs to foster the future of the sport, and my hope is that the leadline class becomes a recognized division in the future,” explained Cohen.
For more information about Carol Cohen and her business at Engel & Völkers Real Estate in Wellington, please click here. As a professional with a strong commitment to promoting the equestrian lifestyle through luxury real estate sales, Cohen’s attention to detail and impeccable taste is sure to continue to transform homeowner’s visions into realities.
VIDEO: You can also watch Carol’s interview with Carl Hester as he is presented with the Global Dressage Visionary Award.