Carl Hester to Compete at World Dressage Masters Palm Beach

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Uthopia, ridden by Carl Hester of Great Britain, at the 2011 European Championships. © Ken Braddick/dressage-news.com

WEST PALM BEACH, Florida, Jan. 13–Carl Hester, who led Great Britain to an historic team gold medal at the 2011 European Championships, will join team mate Charlotte Dujardin on Valegro in competing at the World Dressage Masters Palm Beach Jan. 26-28. Confirmed acceptances for 12 combinations for the €100,000 (US$126,000) CDI5* were announced Friday.

Carl is ranked No. 2 in the world with his European Championship mount, Uthopia, but will ride Wie Atlantico, 13-year-old Hanoverian gelding ridden by Fiona Bigwood as silver medal team mate of Carl and Liebling II at the 2010 World Equestrian Games in Kentucky.

Fiona, pregnant with her third child, offered the ride on Wie Atlantico to Carl.

“This is an exciting venture for us,” said Carl who is also the trainer of Charlotte Dujardin and part-owner of Valegro, a 10-year-old KWPN gelding.

“I’m glad I’m bringing Charlotte with me. Valegro is one of the world’s super stars, and it’s exciting to show him to the North American public.”

Carl described the WDM as “such a great show” and he has competed at the Hickstead, England, leg of the series the past two years.

“We want to be part of dressage’s new era, and that means going over to Florida,” he said.

Charlotte Dujardin and the 10-year-old Valegro was the youngest member at age 26 of Britain’s European Championship team. She finished fourth in the Grand Prix test and four months later won the Grand Prix, beating Carl and Uthopia, in the Grand Prix at London’s Olympia World Cup event.

Confirmed combinations so far are:

Ashley Holzer (CAN) – Pop Art
Jacqueline Brooks (CAN) – Gran Gesto
Yvonne Losos de Muñiz (DOM) – Dondolo Las Marismas
Anja Plönzke (GER) – Le Mont d’Or
Charlotte Dujardin (GBR) – Valegro
Carl Hester (GBR) – Wie Atlantico
Minna Telde (SWE) – Deinhardt
Tinne Vilhelmsson-Silfven (SWE) – Favourit
Todd Flettrich (USA) – Otto
Adrienne Lyle (USA) – Wizard
Tina Konyot (USA) – Calecto V
Steffen Peters (USA) – Ravel
Pierre St. Jacques (USA) – Lucky Tiger