Show jumper wins World Cup qualifier

Wednesday 12th January 2022 12:00 pm
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Harry Charles at the World Cup qualifier in London

 

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HARRY CHARLES of Bentworth took the Longines FEI World Cup qualifier - the feature class of the London International Horse Show jumping competition - after a thrilling jump-off.

To win, he completed a fast clear round in 35.91sec on his horse, 11-year-old Stardust.

Harry, a former Churcher’s College pupil, 22, said: "It’s an amazing feeling. I’ve been going to the show for years and this is the one every rider in Britain, everyone everywhere, wants to win."

The event was formerly held at Olympia, but this time it was at the London-ExCel arena.

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The show is the only UK event to host all three FEI World Cup qualifiers in dressage, show jumping and driving. Harry said: "To win in front of this crowd - and to do it in the first year of the new location - I can’t tell you the exact feeling but it’s very good."

Harry’s father, Olympic gold medal holder Peter Charles MBE, who owns and runs stables at Heathcroft Farm in Bentworth, won this class exactly 20 years ago.

Harry said: "He’s been by my side all the way, and I couldn’t have done it without him.

"He’s really helped with all his knowledge and experience and I owe it all to him.

"I didn’t watch anyone else. I know my horse and she’s short striding, so I didn’t want to get hung up on numbers.

"I stuck to my plan and it came off."

Harry’s partnership with Stardust, owned by his father Peter and Princess Haya Bint Al Hussein, was formed at the start of 2021.

Since then they have also won the leading showjumper of the year accolade at the Horse of the Year Show in October.

In 2020 Harry travelled to Tokyo as a reserve for the British Olympic show jumping team.

But he was drafted in at the last minute to make his Olympic debut, representing his country in place of Holly Smith and her horse Denver.

Harry, riding Romeo, competed as one of the GB show jumping team at the Tokyo Olympics, contesting the individual competition, that started on August 3.

Also representing GB in the individual competition were Scott Brash on Jefferson, owned by Lady Pauline Harris and Lady Pauline Kirkham, and Ben Maher on his horse, Explosion W.

Maher took gold, and Brash finished joint seventh with Cian O’Connor of Ireland.

Harry and Romeo were placed 19th.

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