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Carl Hester
Carl Hester at the 2012 Summer Olympics.jpg
Hester at the 2012 Summer Olympics
Personal information
Born (1967-06-29) 29 June 1967 (age 55)
Cambridgeshire, England, United Kingdom
Medal record
Representing  Great Britain
Olympic Games
Gold 2012 London Team – Dressage
Silver 2016 Rio de Janeiro Team – Dressage
Bronze 2020 Tokyo Team – Dressage
World Championships
Silver 2010 Kentucky Team dressage
Silver 2014 Normandy Team dressage
Bronze 2018 Tryon Team dressage
European Championships
Gold 2011 Rotterdam Team dressage
Silver 2009 Windsor Team dressage
Silver 2011 Rotterdam Special dressage
Silver 2011 Rotterdam Freestyle dressage
Silver 2015 Aachen Team dressage
Silver 2021 Hagen Team dressage
Bronze 2013 Herning Team dressage
World Cup
Bronze 2017 Omaha Individual dressage

Carl Hester MBE (born 29 June 1967 in Cambridgeshire, England) is a British dressage rider competing at Olympic level. As of 8 August 2012 the Fédération Équestre Internationale (FEI) rank him 12th in the world riding Uthopia. In 2012, Hester formed part of the Great Britain Dressage team that won gold at the 2012 Summer Olympics.

Early life and career

Hester was raised by his mother and stepfather. He lived on the Channel Island of Sark from the age of four, and was educated at Elizabeth College in Guernsey. His biological father is the actor Tony Smee.

Aged 19 he applied for a job with horses in the UK at The Fortune Centre of Riding Therapy and on the centre's skewbald mare, Jolly Dolly, he won the 1985 Young Dressage Rider Championship. Moving to Bourton-on-the-Hill he competed at the first Blenheim Horse Trials and won the Spillers Dressage with Jumping Championship. He next rode for Dr Wilfried Bechtolsheimer (father of Laura Bechtolsheimer) and in 1990 went to the World Championships on Rubelit von Unkenriff, the European Championships in 1991 and in 1992 the Barcelona Olympics on Georgioni. Hester became the youngest British rider ever to compete in an Olympic Games. He next went into a business partnership with Kate Carter at her yard at Stow-on-the-Wold until Carter decided to move for more space. Hester too moved to buy his own yard at Oaklebrook Mill, near Newent, Gloucestershire.

2011 European Dressage Championship

In 2011 Hester riding the horse Uthopia was part of the British team that won the team gold medal at the 2011 European Dressage Championship in Rotterdam. Hester also won individual silver medals in the Grand Prix Freestyle and Grand Prix Special.

As of 8 August 2012 the (FEI) ranked him 12th in the world riding Uthopia.

2012 Olympics

In 2012, Hester was selected with three others to represent the United Kingdom at the 2012 Summer Olympics in London in the Individual and Team Dressage events. The UK dressage team won the gold medal with Hester riding Uthopia.

Hester was appointed Member of the Order of the British Empire (MBE) in the 2013 New Year Honours for services to equestrianism.

International Championship results

Year Event Horse Score Placing Notes
1990 World Equestrian Games Rubelit v. Unkenruf 5th Team
18th Individual
1992 Olympic Games Giorgione 7th Team
16th Individual
1999 European Championships Legal Democrat 5th Team
13th Individual
2004 Olympic Games Exquis Escapado 7th Team
13th Individual
2005 World Cup Final Exquis Escapado 10th
2005 European Championships Exquis Escapado 5th Team
6th Individual
2009 European Championships Liebling II 72.085% 2 Team
72.250% 10th Individual Special
75.900% 10th Individual Freestyle
2010 World Equestrian Games Leibling II 72.128% 2 Team
69.417% 17th Individual Special
2011 European Championships Uthopia 82.568% 1 Team
81.682% 2 Individual Special
84.179% 2 Individual Freestyle
2012 Olympic Games Uthopia 77.720% 1 Team
82.857% 5th Individual
2013 European Championships Uthopia 75.334% 3 Team
72.250% 6th Individual Special
81.696% 6th Individual Freestyle
2014 World Equestrian Games Nip Tuck 74.186% 2 Team
75.532% 12th Individual Special
76.589% 12th Individual Freestyle
2015 European Championships Nip Tuck 75.400% 2 Team
77.003% 5th Individual Special
79.571% 8th Individual Freestyle
2016 Olympic Games Nip Tuck 75.529% 2 Team
82.553% 7th Individual
2017 World Cup Final Nip Tuck 83.757% 3
2017 European Championships Nip Tuck 74.900% 4th Team
76.732% 5th Individual Special
80.614% 4th Individual Freestyle
2018 World Equestrian Games Hawtins Delicato 77.283% 3 Team
77.219% 9th Individual Special
2019 European Championships Hawtins Delicato 78.323% 4th Team
77.508% 9th Individual Special
70.732% 14th Individual Freestyle

Personal life

Hester is openly gay.

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