Carl Hester

Name: Carl Hester

Location: Gloucestershire

Current top rides: Fiona Bigwood, Penny Bigwood, Mette Bigwood and Anders Dahl’s Fame (bay, stallion, 16.2hh, 13yrs, Bordeaux 28 x Rhodium, Breeder: V.O.F Gerritsen NED, Groom: Lucy Scudamore).

Major achievements: 

  • Six-time Olympian - Athens, Sydney, Barcelona, London, Rio and Tokyo.
  • Winner of Great Britain’s first ever Olympic dressage medal as part of the Gold medal winning
    team at London Olympics 2012.
  • The most successful British dressage rider in history.
  • The first Honorary Patron of British Dressage.


Personal Best Scores

Lifetime PB
Grand Prix: 82.568% with Uthopia (2011 EU-CH Rotterdam)
Grand Prix Special: 81.685% with Uthopia (2011 EU-CH Rotterdam)
Grand Prix Freestyle: 85.461% with Fame (2023 EU-CH Riesenbeck)

Combination PB (current ride: Fame)
Grand Prix: 78.540% (2023 EU-CH Riesenbeck)
Grand Prix Special: 80.106% (2023 EU-CH Riesenbeck)
Grand Prix Freestyle: 85.461% (2023 EU-CH Riesenbeck)

About Carl

Carl learnt to ride at a young age on his home island of Sark, where horses are the only means of getting about. He drove a carriage on the island for tourists until at 16 he moved to mainland Britain where he worked at the Fortune Centre of Riding Therapy in Dorset, where adults with disabilities could learn to ride. Carl began to take an interest in eventing and took the British Horse Society Assistant Instructor exam.

Carl then went to work for Janni and Christopher Taylor in Gloucestershire, where he was given the ride on dressage schoolmaster Slightly Trendy and was subsequently selected for the Young Rider Dressage team. Carl’s attention was then focused on dressage and he was invited to join the renowned dressage trainer Dr Wilfred Bechtolsheimer, where he worked for three-and-a-half years, gaining valuable training and competing opportunities.

Having represented Great Britain at the 1990 World Games on his employer Dr Bechtolsheimer’s Giorgione, Carl went on to win his first medal for Great Britain at the 2009 European Championships after setting up his own yard in 2004. 

Much success followed; Carl won his first Individual medals with Uthopia in 2011, before going on to be instrumental in the success of Team GB at London 2012, where he helped to secure the historic team gold. In recent years, Carl has continued to partner an array of horses at major championships, contributing to medal success on almost every occasion. His most recent Olympic appearance was on board En Vogue at Tokyo 2020, where the ride of his life resulted in another team bronze medal.