Carl Hester has faith in Nip Tuck

Great Britain’s Carl Hester rode Nip Tuck into the arena and notched the third best score in the provisional ranking at the end of the first day of the Grand Prix Team Competition (qualifier). The horse won over the rider back in June when the pairing participated in a preparatory competition in the very same stadium. Hester ended up choosing Nip Tuck to defend the colours of the Union flag from among his different mounts. It is looking like a wise decision.  

Carl Hester has faith in Nip Tuck
© PSV Photos

This is the very first time you have ridden Nip Tuck at such a prestigious event. What were your goals going into the competition?

With Dances with Wolves, I would have undoubtedly scored higher. With Utopia, I would have undoubtedly scored higher. But I felt that I could put my trust in this horse. I chose Nip Tuck because I have confidence in him, I know him and I know that he will give it his best. And that's just what he did. For the team, I'm happy with my result in the Grand Prix, and obviously I am satisfied with the individual competition because I was selected for the Special.

How is Nip Tuck's development going?

His first international competition was at Saumur in May where he scored 71%, which was already quite good. And each time out he keeps getting better and better. Initially, he didn't really move that well, but when he started to learn the movements of the Grand Prix he became a horse that could perform at a really high level. I always knew he was going to be a good horse. He may not be much of a looker, but he's good! We acquired him for €1,000 and look where he is now. He's competing in the World Games. It's quite a story really. I hope people will realise that dressage is not necessarily elitist.

How do you feel at this point?

The atmosphere is really friendly. It is fantastic. People are very respectful. But how do you prepare a horse to emerge from the tunnel and enter a stadium filled with thousands of people? It's impossible! I crossed my fingers and I prayed that my horse would listen to me.

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