Castle Hill horse at Olympic practice

Louis D'Or and Henriette Andersen'Owned by Mrs Paula Potter, Castle Hill riding school Brandon'June 30 2011
Louis D'Or and Henriette Andersen'Owned by Mrs Paula Potter, Castle Hill riding school Brandon'June 30 2011

ONE of the country’s top dressage horses will be taking part in a test event for the Olympics on Monday.

Louis D’Or, owned by Paula Potter, whose family have run Castle Hill riding school at Brandon for nearly 50 years, will be one of the horses demonstrating dressage, to help organisers assess the arrangements and facilities for the 2012 equestrian events at Greenwich Park.

Mrs Potter bought Louis as a three-year-old from Henriette Andersen and imported him from Denmark.

She competed on him very successfully when he was a young horse, before handing the ride back to Henriette. Louis - a 16hh bay gelding - has graduated from a novice to a Grand Prix horse and is now 13. He was reserve for the World Equestrian Games in Kentucky last year and has recently competed in prestigious events in Germany and France.

He has won or been placed in every national championships since he was a four-year-old and was second in the Hickstead Grand Prix last year in very good company.

Although he is now based at Henriette’s training yard in Stowe on the Wold, he goes home to Brandon for ‘holidays’.

“Most competition horses are quite highly strung, but he is very normal as he was brought up at the riding school with children around. He has a very good temperament, is very reliable and very trainable,” Mrs Potter explained. “He’s very expressive in his movements and very rhythmical.”

There will only be three horses in the team for the Olympics, but even to be a reserve would be a huge achievement.