Hi, I’m British dressage young rider, Charlie Hutton. Welcome to my first weekly blog for Horse&Hound.
I thought I’d start by letting you know a little about my day-to-day life. I’m generally on the yard at my family’s Talland School of Equitation in Gloucestershire by half seven, and try to get 8 horses ridden by half one. I’ll grab a bite to eat on the run and then teach through the afternoon. If I’ve time later I’ll generally muck in on the yard — grooming or cleaning tack — getting in around 6pm. So it’s pretty full on.
I ride by myself most of the time, but I’ll work with my Mum [international grand prix rider Pammy Hutton] on a daily basis, just stealing 10min of her time when I need her to look at something. Other than that I see Erik Theilgaard once a month for World class or young rider squad training.
As for getting out to shows, because Talland is the family business, the priority is making sure enough instructors are here on any one day. It’s easier to get out say on a BHS exam day since then the facilities are in use anyway. Because I’m aiming for young rider team selection, premier leagues and high profile shows take priority.
On Saturdays I’ll ride and teach a little, but if the horses aren’t competing on Sunday they’ll have an easy Saturday and Sunday off. If I’m not competing on Sunday, I’ll make the most of the chance to do absolutely nothing! I’ll go out on Saturday night, sleep till lunch, and then maybe go and rent a DVD and spend the afternoon on the sofa.
The horses I’m most excited about at the moment are my junior team partner Abira, who was seventh in the intermediaire I at the nationals last September — pretty good considering he’s only 9 this year. I’m thinking maybe 2012 for him, but who knows. Then there’s Merlin Nemorensis, also 9, who is not quite as established but has more potential, which makes him exciting.
So this past week, I did my first ever grand prix. It was on Thursday at Solihull and I rode Aljano, who belongs to Penny Manning. He’s 13 and went grand prix in Germany before he came to us. It’s taken a while for me to get his confidence, and he’s a big horse, nearly 18hh. He felt a little tired in the grand prix having done the inter II already — which we won with 67.5%.
Irritatingly, I then went wrong in the grand prix — in my defence I did have to remember four tests that day! Still, to come fifth in my first grand prix with nearly 65%, with no counting errors and no big mistakes, I was pretty pleased about that.
So, now you know what I’m about, I’ll be keeping you up to date with all my news and gossip each week, so check back each Tuesday for my latest installment.