Carl Hester waves to the crowd while competing in Dressage at the Rio Olympics in 2016. | Geoff Burke-USA TODAY Sports

Name: Carl Hester
Country: Great Britain
Sport: Dressage
Previous Olympic Experience: Barcelona 1992, Sydney 2000, Athens 2004, London 2012, Rio de Janeiro 2016, and Tokyo 2021
Social Media: Instagram, X

Who Is Carl Hester?

It’s impossible to write the story of British dressage over the past three decades without invoking Carl Hester’s name. Now Hester’s story is going to be made into a biopic film.

Hester first put himself on the map by capturing the country’s 1985 Young Dressage Rider Championship on a horse called Jolly Dolly. From there, it took him only five years to qualify for the 1990 World Championships.

Then in 1992, Hester made his Olympic debut riding Georgioni at the Barcelona Games. At 25 years old, he also became the youngest British rider in history to compete at the Olympics. 

After two more Olympic berths in 2000 and 2004, Hester took his riding game up a level when the Games came to London in 2012. That year, he was competing as Britain’s only out gay athlete when they were the Olympics host nation.

In front of his home crowd, Hester (riding Uthopia) and the GB Dressage Team brought home a gold medal.

As Hester remarked upon winning, “To come to an Olympics where we were expected to get a gold gave me a frightening feeling…and I enjoyed it!”

Thanks to his role in the first place finish and his overall services to equestrianism, Hester was named a Member of the Most Excellent Order of the British Empire (MBE) in 2013.

Following that momentous triumph and honor, Hester medaled in two more Olympic Games, capturing a silver in Team Dressage at Rio 2016 and a bronze at Tokyo 2021.

Hester has also competed in Individual Dressage during five Olympics. The highest he has ever finished in that event was fifth place at London 2012.

According to Variety, the Olympic legend will be the subject of a biopic film. It’s set to be produced by U.K.-based filmmakers Drew Curtis and Richard Conway.

Carl Hester at the Paris Summer Olympics

Hester turned 57 on June 29 and will be one of the oldest athletes competing in Paris. It will also be his seventh Summer Olympic Games.

He will be looking to take home his fourth medal while riding Fame, a 14-year-old stallion.

He’s currently ranked 25th in the world rankings of the Fédération Equestre Internationale.