Carl Hester saluted his "pretty clever old thing" Nip Tuck after he brought his dressage music to the Liverpool International Horse Show on 28 - 31 December 2019 and took home the victory in this national invitational mixed-level freestyle class.
"I always look forward to competing at this time of year, and I have managed to attend most of the dressage sessions held at Liverpool. It's always great to be here," said Carl Hester.
Liverpool has been hosting an invitational dressage class at its international show jumping show since 2017.
Carl delighted an appreciative, enthralled audience. Riding his 2016 Rio Olympics challenger, Carl marked a Liverpool debut for grand prix dressage by taking the combined Intermediate I Freestyle/Grand Prix Freestyle class on a score of 83.063%.
"That was great," he said. "He's a pretty clever old thing.
He continued: "This is his first show since the national championships in September, and we just do half-an-hour’s warm-up and go for it. I only ride him a couple of days a week now, just keeping him fresh. I always look forward to competing at this time of year, and I have managed to attend most of the dressage sessions held at Liverpool. It's always great to be here."
Carl triumphed by a comprehensive margin, but it proved a keenly-fought contest for the remaining podium places.
Last to go Henriette Andersen and Flavio finished in the runners-up spot, scoring 76.938%, a fraction ahead of Louise Bell and Into The Blue on 76.250%, with Jessica Dunn and Alicante Valley a close fourth.
Henriette said: "Coming second to Carl is like winning anyway - I'll take that!
"It was quite hard work, though. Flavio hasn't really done indoor shows, and it is quite intense and bright in the arena. It's so lovely to be here though."
- 1. Carl Hester and Nip Tuck, 83.063% (Grand Prix Freestyle)
- 2. Henriette Andersen and Flavio, 76.938% (Grand Prix Freestyle)
- 3. Louise Bell and Into The Blue, 76.250% (Grand Prix Freestyle)
- 4. Jessica Dunn and Alicante Valley, 75.250% (Inter I Freestyle)
- 5. Emma Hindle and Diesel 8, 73.688% (Grand Prix Freestyle)
by Tim Smith, edited by Eurodressage
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