Harry Charles, daddy’s pride!
Harry Charles gains Welsh Master title at just 16 years of age
The 16-year-old Harry Charles, son of the top rider Peter Charles, is already on his father’s footsteps.
Last Sunday 17 April, Showjumping great and British Showjumping President, David Broome led the tributes to exciting British prospect Harry Charles after the 16-year-old was crowned Welsh Masters champion.
And in a thrilling one-two for the Charles family, Harry beat his father into second place following a brilliant display on the nine-year-old Strides Controe. His win made Harry the youngest rider to ever win the Welsh Master title in the history of it's twelve years of competition.
Harry took the top prize after dominating a five horse jump-off at the David Broome Event Centre, near Chepstow, clocking a time of 35.85 seconds, while Peter and Stapleton Mist posted 37.46 seconds, with Nicholas Benterman (TJ Mullanacross Maliro) third, Matthew Sampson (Perfect Rouge) fourth and Adrian Whiteway (Cojack) fifth.
Reflecting on his finest career victory at senior level, Hampshire-based Harry said: "I took what dad did in his jump-off round, and then tried to jump it quicker.
"It was a very careful course - definitely bigger than 1.40m. It was tricky, with just five clears from 40 starters, so it took some jumping.
"The horse is a nine-year-old that used to event with Laura Collett, and showjumped up to 1.30m. I am just going to keep the horse sweet, and keep him ticking along." And Peter added: "I said to Harry when I bought the horse that he's really sharp and quick. He might even jump a Nations Cup one day. He is not short of jump, and he is quick away."
Harry also won the Gents Final on Saturday, riding Vivaldi Du Dom, while the Ladies Final saw second and third-placed finishes, respectively, for his younger sisters Sienna who is only 13 year of age and Scarlett aged 15 years.
After watching Harry's scintillating Masters performance, David Broome said: "He went superbly. His horse jumped very well, he rode it brilliantly and he beat his dad, which was no mean achievement.
"We have watched Harry progress over the years, and every time I see him he gets better. He is the right physique, he has a good eye with flair and a very sound head. He has a fantastic future ahead of him in the sport, as do his younger sisters. "It was very pleasing to watch him. He rode faultlessly, and he really deserved to win." Harry Charles, born on 15 July 1999, had already took place in three editions of Eurpoean Championships Children and Juniores.
Born in Liverpool on 18 January 1960, but with an Irish mother, Peter Charles originally competed for Great Britain before switching to represent Ireland (the country of his mother's birth) ahead of the 1992 Olympic Games in Barcelona. He also rode for Ireland at the 1996 Games in Atlanta. In 1995 Peter rode La Ina to victory at the European Championships in Switzerland, taking the individual gold medal to secure Ireland’s first equestrian medal in over 30 years. He was also on the winning team at three of the most prestigious Nations Cups in the world during 1995 – Aachen, Dublin and Spruce Meadows. His success continued in the following years.
In 2006, he had a serious fall when he ruptured his spinal sheath, shattered three ribs and broke a vertebrae, When he got back to the saddle reasoning that he had British owners, lived in Britain and paid British taxes, Peter set into motion plans to change his nationality again. He was given clearance by the International Equestrian Federation (FEI) in 2008 and has ridden under the union flag in the Nations Cup ever since. Peter was selected for the British Olympic team for London 2012 and rode a brilliant clear round on Vindicat W to secure the Olympic gold medal. He lives in Alton, Hampshire, with his wife Tara and childrean Harry, Scarlett and Sienna.