Harry Charles, age 15, left not a split-second on the table to win Leading Pony Showjumper of the Year at the UK’s Horse of the Year Show on Sunday.
The six young riders who entered the jump-off left no breathing room for one another, all finishing the course within 1.52 seconds of one another. Harry posted the quickest time, 33.35 seconds, for the win.
“It was great,” said Harry in a press release. “I didn’t know the pony could go that fast, but dad (showjumper Peter Charles) 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.”
Show-ring success runs in the Hampshire-based Charles family. Harry’s father Peter won Team Gold at the 2012 London Olympics, and less than 24 hours before Harry’s win his 12-year-old sister Scarlett won the HOYS 128cms Championship.
“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.”
Of Harry’s win he said, “That, today, was one of the most competitive jump-offs I have ever seen.”
Listen to this audio link of a post-win interview with Harry, and watch the video of the jump-off below (Harry’s round begins at 8:37):
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