Medal-hunting on familiar turf
Horse & Hound|September 09, 2021
Carl Hester discusses the Europeans and our inspiring Paralympic team
Polly Bryan

AS you read this, I’ll be in Hagen, Germany, having already competed for the team medals at the European Dressage Championships, alongside Charlotte Dujardin, Lottie Fry and Gareth Hughes. Hopefully, we’ll be preparing to ride the grand prix special though, regrettably, I am not in possession of a crystal ball.

There cannot be enough emphasis placed on the importance of how the horses travelled back from Tokyo. No decisions on the team for the Europeans could be made until that assessment.

Our four Tokyo Olympics horses were fit and raring to go after a week’s recovery, then a programme of stretching and gentle work before full preparation for competition. This is largely down to the amazing Isabell Werth, who obtained permission for the horse flights from Tokyo to fly over Russian airspace – shaving eight hours off their journey.

For those who don’t know Isabell, let me tell you, no one says no to her!

After Gareth’s patience and support as travelling reserve rider in Tokyo, we were delighted he has his chance to ride on the British team here at the Europeans.

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