H&H visited the Hampshire stables of up-and-coming star Harry Charles and we encountered classy horses, a great team and stunning facilities — and a very special garden ornament. We hope you enjoy this exclusive behind-the-scenes tour of Harry’s yard. Don’t miss the full interview in today’s issue of the magazine (21 February).
1. Two stars and a special fence
Harry with his top two horses, Sieco (grey) and ABC Quantum Cruise. Decorating the garden behind them is the Tower Bridge fence used in the London Olympics when Harry’s father, Peter, won team gold.
2. One for Tokyo?
Harry has great confidence in the Olympic potential of his Nations Cup ride, 10-year-old ABC Quantum Cruise, aka Fred — but will Tokyo come too soon?
3. A training ground for champions
The stunning outdoor school is situated between the family home and the stable block. There is also a heated indoor school.
4. One for the future
The flea-bitten grey Sieco wasn’t backed until he was six, but is catching up fast and the 10-year-old will be aimed at Nations Cups this year. Sieco has an extra-large stable and a ball to amuse him as he’s very playful.
5. The next generation
Harry with a foal in one of the barns. Harry leaves the stud side to his dad, who breeds around five foals a year and has a preference for the sire Cornet.
6. The medal winner
Harry’s young rider horse Vivaldi Du Dom (Elvis), who won double silver at the 2017 Europeans — “He’s the most careful horse I’ll ever ride,” says Harry. “And once he trusts you he’ll jump anything.”
7. Palatial stables
Vivaldi Du Dom in his spacious stable in the American barn layout.
8. Yet another top-class horse
Harry took on the ride on Lordanos Junior in November and has since taken him to five-star shows in Paris and Olympia.
9. A gym with a view
The equine treadmill is a feature in the middle of the stables — “It’s easy for us to keep an eye on here,” says Harry.
10. ‘Keeping petrol in the truck’
HOYS winner Victor might not be a team horse, but he’s always in the money. “You need this type of horse,” says Harry. “They keep the petrol in the truck.”
11. A great base
Harry leads Quantum Cruise around the yard. Heathcroft Farm, near Alton in Hampshire, is home to around 40 horses, of which 13 are competed by Harry.
12. A fun team
“You need a great team to keep everything going as I’m away so much,” says Harry. From L-R: head groom Dan Tarpey, Samantha Cobley, Harry, Olivia Bowen, Thomas Smith; bottom: Mia Newman and Georgia Baddeley
For all the latest equestrian news and reports, don’t miss Horse & Hound magazine, out every Thursday