Words: Alastair James; pictures: Instagram/carlhestermbe
In another stunning achievement for Team GB and LGBTQ athletes everywhere, Carl Hester MBE has won bronze in the team dressage event at the Tokyo Olympics.
The veteran dressage rider, who at 54 is the oldest member of Team GB, came third alongside teammates Charlotte Dujardin and Charlotte Fry, scoring 7,723.0. The United States came in second with 7,747.0 and Germany won the gold with 8,178.0.
The bronze marks Hester’s third Olympic medal since he made his debut at Barcelona 1992: He also took team gold at London 2012 and team silver at Rio 2016.
“He is amazing”
The Guardian quotes Hester, who is gay, as saying, “That was cool. I had a great balance with En Vogue [his horse] and I feel he came here as a boy and he went in there like a man.
“It still feels like he is one of the best horses you could ever sit on. He is amazing.”
Posting on Instagram, Hester said it had been an "incredible day".
View this post on Instagram
Hester scored 2,577.5 with En Vogue, and had previously competed with teammate Charlotte Fry’s late mother, Laura, in the 1992 games. Fry, now 25, was 14 when she started dressage lessons with Hester, according to the BBC.
Hester will next be competing in the individual final’s for dressage with En Vogue on Wednesday (28 July)
Born on the channel island of Sark, Hester had an early penchant for horses. He first rode a donkey to the local shops and from there horses became his life. His appearance in Tokyo marks his fifth Olympic appearance after competing at Barcelona 1992, Athens 2004, London 2012 and Rio 2016.