A “Delighted” Harry Charles proves quicker than Marcus Ehning at London International Horse Show
British riders dominated the second day at London International Horse Show which was made extra special by Olympian, Harry Charles who took a win in the Champagne Taittinger Ivy Stakes CSI5* class.
Charles was awarded the prize after beating the odds riding 15 year old gelding, Borsato (Contendro 1 x Nijinski). This comes on top of the pair’s win at CHI Geneva last weekend. With a time of 34.07 seconds, Charles left Germany’s Marcus Ehning riding Calanda (Calido 1 x Chasseur) in the runner up position by a margin of 1.08 seconds.
10 combinations went forward to the jump-off, with Great Britain’s talented young rider, Jack Whitaker paving the way. Whitaker meant business from the start, jumping an impressive clear in a time of 35.98 seconds on Elucar V.E. to set the standard. Germany’s Marcus Ehning survived a rub at the penultimate fence to take over pole position at the midway point, shaving 0.83 seconds off Whitaker’s time, however, it was Harry Charles who had the crowd on their feet as he made all the moves to take the lead with just three to go. Charles’ target of 34.07 seconds proved impossible to beat, as those who followed, including Friday’s dual winner, Martin Fuchs, incurred penalties in their attempts to match the pace required.
After his superb win, Charles told reporters:
I was actually a bit in shock, I didn’t realise I was that much quicker, it’s not every day you can be that much faster than Marcus [Ehning] and I thought the jump off went well”.
He went on to say how “delighted” he was with the win.
Belgium’s Gregory Wathelet riding Conchento PS (Conthargos x Chacco-Blue) finished in third place with a time of 35.37 seconds.
A thrilled Charles continued:
I thought the jump-off went quite well, in places I thought I was a little bit unsteady, but it all worked out in the end and I’m absolutely delighted.”
When asked what his plans were for the rest of the show and the weekend, Charles replied,
well, hopefully a few more like that will be alright…it’s always nice to win but the World Cup is obviously the biggest one on Sunday so that is my main focus now.”
Charles will also be back again on Monday for the Grand Prix to “try and repeat what’s just happened there”.
Of the new setting for the London International Charles said he has been brought up at the former Olympia stadium but he thinks,
“they have done an amazing job [at the ExCeL arena]. I think everyone’s really happy, I know the riders are, it’s fantastic for the riders, for the grooms and for us, and we’re just happy to be back at a world class show in the UK”.
During the action-packed second day of The London International Horse Show at ExCeL London in addition to spectacular international competition in three FEI disciplines; Driving, Dressage and Jumping, the Show hosted a dedicated Medal Parade to celebrate the achievements of the equestrian Team GB athletes at this summer’s Olympic Games and European Championships.
Additional achievements were acknowledged across the course of the day, with the British Equestrian Writers Association Lifetime Achievement Award presented to Carl Hester and British Dressage International Champions Trophy awarded to Charlotte Dujardin and her Tokyo 2020 Olympic mount Gio, as the highest placed British combination at this year’s championships.
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