Chicken & Egg Issue 14 - page 30

Chicken & Egg. Welfare and Food Together.
1. Carl, we must say a massive well done
on your recent success at the Rio Olympics!
What level of training do you have to do in
the weeks leading up to the games?
Training is consistent throughout the year –
a Grand Prix horse is already trained in all the
movements so our job is keep them at a high
level of fitness which enables them to keep
at the peak of their game. If we have a new
music routine, which Charlotte du Jardin did on
Valegro, we run through it a few times to ensure
the movements and music all fit together. But
other than that we keep a steady programme of
fitness ensuring that they are strong and ready
for not just the competition but the travelling.
2. We saw that you were emotional
watching Blueberry and Barney heading off
on their way to Rio. What are the logistics
of making sure they get there safely?
It’s always an emotional time when you wave
goodbye to the horses as the lorry leaves the
yard, safely driven by Alan my travelling groom.
Valegro went to Las Vegas last year for the
World Cup and Nip Tuck went to Doha so they
have clocked up a fair few airmiles – in first
class obviously! To get to Rio, the horses were
driven to Liege in Belgium where they joined
the other GB and European horses and were
put onto a plane specifically chartered for them.
There were about 35 horses per plane and they
each travelled in a big crate complete with hay,
water and groom. A vet travels, too, in case of
any emergencies and it’s all very organised and
3. Tell us a bit about what Rio was like?
Rio was amazing – we got the opportunity to
see some of the other sports and the Olympic
village was great; it was an experience I will
never forget, but London was my favourite
Olympic games – home territory and a team
Gold medal! But getting Silver in Rio was
fantastic as so many other countries have really
upped their game and have some great horses
and riders – so we really felt the pressure at
this one.
4. What was your favourite moment of
the games?
Barney’s spook at the Pokemon in the bushes!
No that wasn’t really my favourite moment –
that was my least favourite moment! It had to
be standing on the podium and getting that
silver medal and watching Valegro and
Charlotte retain their Olympic Gold – that horse
is a superstar and deserves everything.
5. Now, let’s talk a little less about horses
and more about hens! How many do you
have and what are their names?
I have no idea how many feathered fowl I have
these days – in fact a fewwere hatching while
I was away in Rio so I now have even more. We
have about 10 chickens – of all varieties plus a
few guinea fowl, peacocks, doves – you name it
we have them. They have a collective name on
the yard – they are known as the Supermodels!!
Carl Hester
Continuing our global theme, we thought it would be appropriate and fun to interview
hugely successful British dressage rider, Carl Hester, fresh from competing at this year’s
Olympics in Rio where he secured a silver medal in the team dressage event. As well as
horses, Carl is pretty keen on chickens too, so we asked about his flock.
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