The first rider I am going to feature in my series is Carl Hester. Carl is a dressage rider and I saw him ride at Wembley in November as he did a routine to music before the Spanish Riding School performed. I would definitely consider Carl Hester as GB's best known dressage rider.
Carl first learnt to ride on a donkey and would ride it to the village shop. He then had a number of ponies and at the age of 19 he got a job at a riding centre in Hampshire. Here he had the opportunity to compete on a mare they owned and he won the 1985 Young Dressage Rider Championship. He then worked for other yards and trainers whilst competing including working for the Bechtolsheimer family. He has his own website where he talks about his story and it includes lots of nice photos from when he was growing up and the horses (and donkey) he had! Click here to go to his website.
He now has his own yard in Gloustershire. 2011 say him gain a Team Gold at the European Championships and two individual silver medals.
At the end of last year, Carl Hester was named Olympic Athlete of the year by the British Olympic Association. His hopes are high for the Olympics in the summer.
The main horse he is currently riding is called Uthopia, he is a 16.1hh stallion and is 11 years old.
Carl has written a number of books and also sells products from his own range such as reins. You can also follow him on Twitter.
I have found an interesting video of Carl Hester talking about dressage and how he selects horses that will make it to the top. Click here to watch the video!
These images do not belong to me.