Carl Hester and Charlotte Dujardin are no strangers to being honoured for their services to equestrianism but it is announced today that, this year, they will receive the prestigious “Médaille de l’École d’Èquitation Espagnole de Vienne’
The honour is awarded for riding according to the principle of classical horsemanship and will be given to Hester and Dujardin during the “Fête Impériale”, the summer ball of the Spanish Riding School Vienna, an event called "The most beautiful summer ball in the world" (New York Times)
2016 was the first time that the two awards were given for outstanding achievements in the riding and equestrian sport. The “Prix de l’École d’Èquitation Espagnole de Vienne” and the “Médaille de l’École d’Èquitation Espagnole de Vienne”.
The Spanish Riding School is steeped in a history that goes back 451 years and is based on the long and consequent tradition of the High School of Classical Horsemanship. Some of the world’s most distinguished riders have learned the High School of Horsemanship at the School and are very attached to the house, therefore the committee felt that an award for outstanding performance should be given.
A specialised jury decides on the award winners and will give the medal of honour when Carl and Charlotte attend the ball in June. The jury is chaired by Sissy Max-Theurer and consists of personalities from the international and Austrian horse sports community: Gary Rockwell, Ghislain Fouarge, Thomas Lang, Klaus Haim, Michael Enzinger as well as Elisabeth Gürtler.
The honorary committee of the Spanish Riding School will also award the “Prix de l’École d’Équitation Espagnole de Vienne” to an internationally well known person who made outstanding efforts in equestrian sports and horse breeding and contributed exemplary to an intergenerational understanding of the importance of horses in human history.
The award in the shape of “Maestoso Superba”, a stallion performing a Levade, is made of 12,527 crystals and only a very limited number of ten pieces was produced by the Tyrolean Company Swarovski.
Hester stated “It’s incredible to receive this prestigious award from such a distinguished School. I have loved producing horses all of my life, so to be recognized for this award is an honour and I am very grateful to the committee for this privilege. I look forward to attending the ball in June with Charlotte and to being a part of such a beautiful event”
Dujardin stated “I was thrilled to hear that Carl and I are to receive this award. I am so passionate about our horses so to receive this honour from the Spanish Riding School, an institution that inspires millions, is so humbling and I thank the committee so much for recognizing us in this way. Carl has been my mentor, trainer and friend for over ten years now so I look forward to sharing this special occasion with him”