AN OLYMPIC gold medallist came to a north Hampshire hotel to open its new equestrian centre.

Carl Hester, who won team gold in dressage at London 2012, cut the ribbon on the new centre at the Four Seasons Hotel Hampshire, in Dogmersfield.

The gold medallist then commentated on a warm-up by Anne Murray, the hotel’s lead instructor who also competes at a national level. She entertained guests with a 10-minute dressage display set to music.

Francesca Adams, public relations manager at the hotel, said: “Carl Hester was absolutely charming. I had not met him prior to the event but he really put everyone at ease.

“His commentary was really fun and he pitched it at a level for those who do not understand the technicalities of dressage.”

The centre, which took more than a year to build and cost more than £1million, features stabling for 14 horses, two all-weather riding arenas, changing facilities and a lounge room. It replaces a temporary building in the hotel grounds that was used as a riding club.

The new centre will be used by both guests at the hotel and non-guests.

Four Seasons Hotel Hampshire general manager Charlie Parker said: “Horse riding has been an integral part of the estate for hundreds of years, and therefore we are delighted to open our new equestrian centre that once again makes horse riding a defining feature at Four Seasons Hampshire.”