‘He’s almost asleep at the in-gate but big jumps are his forte’: meet Harry Charles’ Olympic hope

  • There’s a very exciting showjumping gelding currently making waves in the sport, 10-year-old Sherlock, who has been produced by British number one showjumper Harry Charles and who is now in contention for future championships.

    The gelding has been catching the eye as Harry has produced him carefully through the grades, stepping up to five-star level for the first time at the end of last year. But at the recent CSI2* Chepstow Spring International at the David Broome Event Centre in Wales, the duo really impressed with a facile victory in a 1.45m rankings class, leading Harry to reveal why he thinks the 10-year-old (Bisquet Balou VD Mispelaere x Malito De Reve) has all the credentials for a top-class championship horse.

    “It was quite a good track, there were more than 80 in it and 10 clears, which was perfect,” says Harry, who finished ahead of two serious challengers in Louise Simpson on Billy Piccadilly and Anna Power on McQueen respectively. “Sherlock isn’t the quickest but he has a huge stride and loads of scope, so you can turn him tight to big oxers and use his strengths.

    “He goes round a 1.45m track at 50-60 per cent of his ability, he’s an exceptional jumper who makes it feel effortless.”

    Sherlock has been with Harry since a five-year-old and is the horse he’s had the longest in his stable. He’s been slowly produced with championships in mind.

    “He’d only done one show when I got him and he’s been like my baby,” Harry Charles reveals. “From the first jump at home I always knew how good he was.

    “As a five-, six- and seven-year-old he was always way behind in terms of experience, he’s been tricky to get to know as he’s extremely sensitive and also extremely laid back, almost lazy. He’s almost asleep at the in-gate and then he goes in the ring and turns a switch.

    “He wouldn’t be the fastest horse right now, which is a large part lack of experience as I have never let myself get carried away with him, but his time will come and it will be on a bigger stage — big jumps are his forte and it’s always been in my mind that he’s an option for the European Championships, the 2024 Paris Olympics and Los Angeles in 2028. Championships have always been the dream with him.”

    Watch this space!

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