Three-star eventer turned para dressage rider Charlotte Cundall has gained two exciting new horses who she hopes could take her to Tokyo.
After her former ride, ex-eventer KBIS Starchaser, was put to sleep in December, Charlotte has welcomed Brenda Reddy’s Bambam, and the Lady Joseph Trust’s Simply Red to her Yorkshire yard.
“We had a terribly sad end to 2017 so it’s lovely to now look forward to the future,” said Charlotte, who was also crowned Yorkshire novice ladies’ point-to-point champion before breaking her back for the second time in 2010 prompted her to take up para dressage in 2014.
“It’s amazing to have the chance to ride two proper dressage horses for the first time — they’re so different to the eventers I have ridden until now,” she continued. “It makes you realise how worldly eventers are — the dressage horses don’t like mud and puddles, and they have completely different buttons so even the way I give the aids has to change. But I’m loving the challenge.
“I used to joke about wanting a ‘designer’ dressage horse, but actually I feel like I’ve served my apprenticeship and learnt the ropes on horses I’m used to. When I came back to riding all weak and wobbly I wouldn’t have been able to ride horses like these two!”
The 12-year-old KWPN gelding Bambam has campaigned internationally at inter I by Rob Waine, having previously been competed by para gold medallist Natasha Baker. As well as the para winter championships, Charlotte will contest next week’s able-bodied winter regionals at prix st georges with him.
“He’s been beautifully trained, and it’s nice that he has come full circle and is back in the para world,” said Charlotte, a grade V para rider. “Natasha was so pleased to see him when I took him to squad training!
Find out who will be designing the courses for both the 2018 World Equestrian Games in Canada and the 2020…
Hiroshi Hoketsu, who turns 67 next month, is set to become Japan’s oldest ever Olympian
More than 70 guests attended the event, held to celebrate the highly successful 2016 Games
“Simply Red is a nine-year-old who was sourced for me in Denmark by the Assoulines. He is stunning — an incredible mover and definitely one for the future. This year will be all about building partnerships with both horses and hopefully getting some personal best scores internationally, but the Tokyo Paralympics are the long-term goal.
“I’m so grateful for the Lady Joseph Trust and KBIS, who have continued to support me after the tragic loss of Star.”
For all the latest news analysis, competition reports, interviews, features and much more, don’t miss Horse & Hound magazine, on sale every Thursday.