Carl Hester Becomes First Honorary Patron of British Dressage

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Carl Hester on Uthopia and Charlotte Dujardin on Valegro with Olympic team gold medals at London. © 2012 Ken Braddick/dressage-news.com
Carl Hester on Uthopia and Charlotte Dujardin on Valegro with Olympic team gold medals at London. © 2012 Ken Braddick/dressage-news.com

Nov. 21, 2016

Carl Hester has become the first Honorary Patron of British Dressage and, at the organization’s annual convention, his  protégé, Charlotte Dujardin, was presented with the British Dressage Medal of Honor.

The award to Carl, 49 years old and a five-time Olympian, brought the loudest cheer of the event that British Dressage said in a statement, “All acknowledge that no one has done more to further the progress of dressage, inspire generations, promote harmonious training and raise standards than him.”

At this summer’s Olympics in Rio de Janeiro where he rode Nip Tuck for team silver, he was coach of his three team mates, Charlotte Dujardin on Valegro, Fiona Bigwood on Orthilia and Spencer Wilton on Super Nova. He was also on the London 2012 gold medal team in which Charlotte and Valegro, a horse of which he is part-owner, won the first of her two Olympic individual gold medals.

British Dressage (BD) Chairman Penny Pollard commented: “So much has been written on what an extraordinary person Carl Hester is and when you have the privilege to meet him in person, you soon realise how true every word is.  When we discussed this new honor as a board, there was no hesitation that it was an apt and fitting reward for all of Carl’s unstinting support, boundless effort and achievements.  All of us in dressage owe Carl a huge debt; his vision, his drive, his determination are unequalled and I can’t think of anyone more deserving.”

The award to Charlotte was for her medal tally of 14 in six championships, nine of them gold.

“She’s put dressage on the map in the sporting world and is inspiring a generation that dreams can come true,” BD said.