Over 1,200 spectators filled beautiful Caledon Equestrian Park Arena in October for a two-day masterclass hosted by British Olympic gold medallist Carl Hester. Spectators travelled from as far away as Nova Scotia and British Columbia for the opportunity to learn from one of the world’s best rider and trainer.
Carl Hester is a popular five-time British Olympian who has spent nearly three decades on the international dressage scene. At the Rio Olympics in 2016, he won Team silver aboard the 12-year-old Dutch Warmblood gelding Nip Tuck (stable name Barney) and also trained the entire British Olympic team of Charlotte Dujardin, Spencer Wilton, Fiona Bigwood. He is the owner and trainer of Charlotte’s legendary mount Valegro, who won individual Olympic gold in both Rio and London in 2016.
In his own Olympic debut in 1992, Carl was the youngest-ever British rider to compete in an Olympic Games. He is a multi-medallist at European and World Championships, was part of London 2012’s historic team gold effort riding Uthopia, and has over 50 Grand Prix wins and eight national championships under his belt. In April of 2017 Carl and Nip Tuck placed third in the prestigious FEI World Cup Dressage Finals in Omaha, Nebraska. He was awarded an MBE (Member of the Order of the British Empire) in 2013 by Her Majesty the Queen for his service to equestrian sport.
The final rider of day at Caledon Equestrian Park was Peterborough’s own Jaimey Irwin of Stoney Lake Equestrian, aboard his upper-level
dressage horse Donegal V. The pair wowed the crowd with their ease in the Grand Prix movements as they worked on high level transitions from piaffe to passage and flying changes. Jaimey’s wife Tina rode on day 2 with her very talented 5 year old mare Simsalabim. Carl was very impressed, saying several times that “he’d like to take her home”.
The masterclass days were busy, with demonstrations by Rebecca Edwards of England as well as 9 horse/rider sessions each day. These
included two Canadian Olympians and a pair of Pan Am Games medallists, as well as a selection of talented horses from the FEI Four-Year-Old level to Grand Prix.
Cottage Country Connection Magazine is proud to be part of the accredited media at this prestigious event.
Photo Credit Karie Alderman