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Hester celebrates FEI World Cup™ podium position

last updated on April 04, 2017 16:47

Hester celebrates FEI World Cup™ podium position

Carl Hester and Nip Tuck were on fire in Omaha at the FEI World Cup™ Dressage Final (30 March – 1 April 2017) achieving an outstanding third place in both the Grand Prix and Kür.

Carl and ‘Barney’, Great Britain’s sole representatives, served up two fantastic performances in front of the enthusiastic crowd at the Centurylink Center earning 76.67% in Thursday’s Grand Prix and, on Saturday, nailing their famous freestyle for 83.75%.

Full to the brim with technically demanding moves, this routine, which earned seventh in Rio and won the FEI World Cup™ qualifier at Olympia last year, looks as fresh as ever and shows off the textbook frame and balance of Jane De La Mare’s gelding, a gentle giant of the dressage world.

This was Carl’s first World Cup Final appearance in 12 years, and a first for Barney. The sensitive 13-year-old, a son of Don Ruto, has sometimes struggled with the big atmosphere but his relationship with Carl is such that he always gives his all.

Omaha was no exception and he also dug deep to overcome a loss of appetite. After the flight to Nevada he was missing his usual travel companion, Valegro, and was off his food. He was eating hay but some coaxing was required by ‘super groom’ Alan Davies to get him to eat up his feed.

“Nip Tuck is so thin because he hasn’t eaten for a week,” said Carl, at the press conference. “He’s really missing Valegro who he’d normally be travelling with, and when he’s not there, he frets. He has no-one to grab hold of but he’ll have to get used to it. He’s been eating hay at least, but you need some ‘petrol’ to do these competitions. Alan has had to hand-feed him for the past few days.”

Carl expressed how thrilled he was with both his rides; “I think he [Barney] gave his maximum so I can’t be disappointed when he did his absolute best.” And he later took to Facebook on Sunday to say; “When a horse tries his heart out like Barney did I can ask for no more, so very proud of our quirky big softy who put all his trust in me last night. Very happy team!”

Germany’s Isabell Werth was the undisputed FEI World Cup™ Dressage Champion 2017. Aboard the exquisite Don Schufro x Sandro Hit mare, Weihegold OLD, she was victorious in both the Grand Prix with 82.30% and the Kür with 90.70%, ahead of runners-up for the USA, the exciting combination of Laura Graves and Verdades.

 

Isabell, the most decorated equestrian athlete of all time, really let her hair down during the prize-giving ceremony (above) after clinching her third FEI World Cup™ Dressage title, drenching American runner-up Laura Graves and Carl in a fountain of Champagne. “Thanks to Isabell, dressage is becoming more like Formula One!” says Carl. “Huge thanks to Omaha, its people and everyone involved. You put on a great show and we had a blast!”

Results
Grand Prix
1st – Isabell Werth with Weihegold OLD, 82.30% (GER)
2nd – Laura Graves with Verdades, 79.80% (USA)
3rd – Carl Hester with Nip Tuck, 76.67% (GBR)
4th – Edward Gal with Glock’s Voice, 74.48% (NED)
5th – Judy Reynolds with Vancouver K, 74.44% (IRL)

Grand Prix Freestyle

1st – Isabell Werth with Weihegold OLD, 90.70% (GER)
2nd – Laura Graves with Verdades, 85.30% (USA)
3rd - Carl Hester with Nip Tuck, 83.75% (GBR)
4th – Judy Reynolds with Vancouver K, 79.57% (IRL)
5th – Madeleine Witte-Vrees with Cennin, 79.04% (NED)

For full results click here
Photo credit: Cara Grimshaw/FEI



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