Hampshire’s Young Showjumper Harry Charles is crowned Leading Pony Showjumper of the Year
15-year-old Harry Charles from Alton, Hampshire with his mother Tara’s 16 year-old chestnut gelding Scoubidou IV was crowned Leading Pony Showjumper of the Year at 2014 Horse of the Year Show.
Photo: Harry Charles & Scoubidou IV – Leading Pony Showjumper of the year. Photo Credit: E.S. Photography.
A jump-off of spectacular proportions saw the top six riders separated by just 1.52 seconds, but it was Harry who was quickest, clocking 33.35 seconds.
It was enough to nudge Jodie Hall-McAteer and the former Jessica Mendoza-ridden Tixylix into second, with Charlotte Ash (Aughnashammer) third, Faye Adams (Some Like It Hot) fourth, Alex Gill (Amman Valley Santino) fifth and Harry sixth on his other ride Aroldo.
Harry’s victory came just 24 hours after his 12-year-old sister Sienna won the 128cms Championship – and 24 hours before he sits a mock GCSE physics exam!
And like on Saturday, father Peter, who jumped the round that clinched team show jumping gold for Great Britain at London 2012, watched proudly from the sidelines.
“It was great,” said Harry, who lives in the village of Bentworth, near Alton.
“I didn’t know the pony could go that fast, but dad encouraged me that the pony could do it, and we managed to go quickly enough.
“The lap of honour here is always so special. You just enjoy the moment, and it has been a really good few days.”
Such is the quality of the Charles equine string – Harry’s younger sister Scarlett finished eighth on Razorlite II and he finished sixth himself on another ride, Arolodo – that of seven ponies they had competing at HOYS this week, not one had a fence down.
“It couldn’t have gone better,” Peter said.
“We’ve had seven ponies here this week and we’ve not had a fence down, so everyone has done their job, and Harry will be the first to tell you that he has a great team behind him.
“That, today, was one of the most competitive jump-offs I have ever seen.”