The Brilliance of Carl Hester

When I saw the ragtag daily prompt, ‘Brilliance‘ I immediately thought of Carl Hester and the day I saw him competing at the World Equestrian Games in Tryon NC last September.   Why did this make me think of Carl Hester? Because he is the acknowledged master of dressage, not only in his native Britain and not only as a rider but also as a trainer and coach. At the Rio Olympics 2016 he was the coach of all the  members of the British Dressage Team as well as competing on the team himself! But that is not all!

When Carl rode into the stadium on that hot day in September, the crowd started to clap and cheer as soon as he was announced.  That really never happens. Dressage spectators are a quiet lot. They don’t want to upset the horse by creating a furor. But that did not deter them on that day. They wanted to let Carl know how much he was appreciated.  They only went silent when the bell was rung for him to start his test. 

And when he finished?  The whole place erupted! Cheering! Foot stomping! Hand waving! Whistles! Shouts! A Standing Ovation!

A Standing Ovation!

It was not because the spectators thought his was going to be the winning ride. It was not because he had a record breaking score.  It was because he is  a brilliant horseman.  Carl Hester has been a competitor in multiple Olympics, he has won innumerable  National Titles in Britain, he has trained the world’s highest scoring dressage rider, Charlotte Dujardin, riding the horse he discovered, the now retired Valegro. Everyone knows how he well looks after his horses and how they all have daily turnout and how regular hacks and gallops are part of their routines. 

It is the sum of all these things that constitutes the brilliance of this man. It is not a flash in the pan . This particular brilliance has been years in the making. 

That is my take on “brilliance”.

9 Comments Add yours

  1. Alli Farkas says:

    Nothing to add here. You’ve said it all.

    Liked by 1 person

  2. great story, love that I can always find some new info (or I never heard about) on your blog! word ‘Brilliant’ suits him 🙂

    Liked by 1 person

    1. anne leueen says:

      Thank you. The dressage world can be full of Negative Nellie’s and Armchair Critics so the overwhelming response to Carl Hester at WEG just for who he is and what he has accomplished was wonderful to see.

      Liked by 1 person

      1. Now we also know his name 😀 & will be ready to applaud next time ☝️💃👏

        Liked by 1 person

  3. Emma Cownie says:

    It’s nice that dressage community know the riders and the horses so well.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. anne leueen says:

      Like many other areas in life,possibly the art world as well ,there are lots of armchair critics in dressage. But when it comes to Carl Hester the approval is so universal . When he got the standing ovation it brought tears to my eyes!

      Liked by 1 person

      1. Emma Cownie says:

        A spontaneous standing ovation is a rare and wonderful thing.

        Liked by 1 person

  4. cagedunn says:

    Truly a master, and yet he also acknowledges that he can accept critique (I can’t remember where he said it, maybe an interview at the Olympics?). Truly a brilliant man, teacher, and rider.

    Liked by 2 people

    1. anne leueen says:

      Yes and with a terrific sense of humor as well!

      Liked by 2 people

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