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Carl Hester: Nip Tuck – why not?

The UK’s Carl Hester is THE guest star of the test events at the Alltech FEI World Equestrian GamesTM 2014 in Normandy. The reigning Olympic team gold medallist and coach of world dressage darling Charlotte Dujardin came in second today to fellow countryman Gareth Hughes, scoring 72.343% in the Grand Prix event with his gelding Nip Tuck. Between Nip Tuck and his other horse, Dances With Wolves, the Briton can let his hopes soar.

Carl Hester: Nip Tuck – why not?
© PSV Photos

72.343% today – that’s a very good performance from Nip Tuck!

Indeed! Everything just went beautifully. You have to remember that this is only Nip Tuck’s fourth Grand Prix. He’s very young – just 10 years old – but I’ve known him since he was little. I never thought he’d be my horse for the Games, but honestly, why not? He seems to be very comfortable at big events, so why not? I only have two events left, Hartpury and Aachen, before I make the final decision on which horse I'll take to Normandy, if I make the British team, of course.

Based on this first event at D’Ornano Stadium, what will you take back to your potential teammates, and especially Charlotte Dujardin?

The first thing is that you should never let yourself be overwhelmed by the venue. Objectively, it’s very impressive, so you have to keep a cool head. When you’re in the arena, you feel like you’re in a really huge stadium, even though the audience is far enough away to not bother the most nervous horses. The surface is really good – neither too hard nor soft. Everyone seems to agree about that. I’ll also tell them that it can be hot in Normandy (laughs). But the schooling arenas are a bit more exposed to the wind, so the temperatures will be better if it gets really hot. And I’ll mostly be thinking about Charlotte and me, doing everything I can so that we’re in the team that comes in August (laughs)!

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