Behind-the-scenes with Carl Hester and Charlotte Dujardin ahead of the 75th Royal Windsor Horse Show

Ahead of competing at CHI Royal Windsor Horse Show, we were given a sneak preview of the training regime of Olympic gold medallists, Charlotte Dujardin CBE and Carl Hester MBE, as they prepare for the CDI4* Al’Shiraa Dressage Grand Prix and Freestyle competitions at Royal Windsor on the evenings of Thursday 10th and Friday 11th May.

Dujardin, who will be riding Mount St John Freestyle, her new Grand Prix horse and FEI World Equestrian Games™ hopeful said, “I’m really excited about going to Windsor, I used to compete there Showing as a child, so it’s got some really great memories for me. It’s an incredible setting and to have the British crowd behind me will make it even more special. The Dressage always has an amazing atmosphere there, it’s is usually under the floodlights at night, which makes it really unique – Mount St John Freestyle is going to absolutely love it and I’m looking forward to it so much!”

Mount St John Freestyle, Dujardin’s FEI World Equestrian Games™ hopeful

Exclusive behind-the-scenes access with the renowned duo indicated preparations were full steam ahead as Hester and Dujardin set their sights on Royal Windsor, and the jam-packed competition year ahead. Although competing against each other, Dujardin’s mentor, team mate and fellow competitor shared his joys of competing and his hopes for returning to defend his title, this year aboard Hawtins Delicato:

Carl Hester and Hawtins Delicato ahead of CHI Royal Windsor Horse Show

“I won my first championship medal at Royal Windsor back in 2009. The backdrop is sensational, there is nowhere quite like it. I remember competing to music under the lights with 8,000 people there that night watching me, it was very surreal, especially having the castle lit up in the background.”

Hester continued, “Since then Charlotte has won the Grand Prix and I won the Grand Prix there last year, so we have both had a turn at it which is nice, keep it in the family and share the win! This year I am predicting that Charlotte will win it, her horse is sensational. We call her Mrs Valegro after our all-time star, Valegro, who won three Olympic gold medals. Watch this space!”

Royal Windsor Horse Show 

The Show will take place from 9 – 13 May 2018. Over 55,000 visitors are expected to attend the 75th year of Royal Windsor Horse Show which offers its audience an extensive programme of first class equestrian competition and performances in five arenas. The displays in the main Castle Arena include The Musical Ride of The Household Calvary Mounted Regiment, The Musical Drive of the King’s Troop RHA, The DAKS Pony Club Mounted Games and The Land Rover Shetland Pony Grand National. As well as the equestrian competitions and activities, there are over 220 shops in the Shopping Village, with a wide range of goods for sale, from jewellery and fashion, to food and drink. Her Majesty The Queen has attended every year since the Show started in 1943 and it is the only time of the year that the private grounds of Windsor Castle are open to the public. Royal Windsor Horse Show is organised by Windsor Equestrian Promotions Ltd, as part of HPower Group, also organisers of Olympia, The London International Horse Show www.hpower.co.uk.