Festive Stars: Charlotte Tuck — Meet the ‘hands on’ show rider juggling A-levels, ponies and a new love for the working hunter scene

  • Over the festive season, we’re getting the scoop on a few up-and-coming riders across the equestrian disciplines. These are a select few individuals you really need to keep an eye out for during 2022…

    Sixteen-year-old Charlotte Tuck is part of her family-run showing yard, Team Hillyard, and is currently one of the most consistent young riders on the show circuit.

    Charlotte, a first year A-Level student, has enjoyed major successes on plaited and native ponies, and she’s recently taken mountain and moorland (M&M) working hunter pony classes by storm, competing against riders more than twice her age.

    Team Hillyard had 16 tickets to the 2021 Horse of the Year Show (HOYS), and Charlotte was super busy throughout the week, picking up a fourth in the exceeding 143cm M&M working hunter pony of the year final with debutante Jamie’s Lad, a 10th and a sixth with ​​Hollyland High Hopes in intermediate show riding type and part-bred Arab finals and a second in the 143cm show hunter pony of the year class with Romano Romany Gypsy.

    Charlotte first rode at HOYS aged four aboard the lead rein show pony Hightopps Magic Fairy and she’s appeared at the NEC every year since.

    “She’s always been a competitive rider,” says her mother and team leader, Lindsey Hillyard.

    Charlotte first reigned at HOYS with the lead rein show pony Hightopps Magic Wish in 2010 and she took the class again in 2012 with the John Harvey-produced Barkway Magic Moments, who went onto stand mini pony of the year.

    Her accolades off the lead rein have been similarly noteworthy. In 2016 she won the Royal International (RIHS) with the 12hh show hunter pony Hightopps Allegro who took the reserve hunter pony championship.

    In 2018 she piloted the Welsh section A gelding Thistledown San Siro to best of the breed at Olympia in the M&M supreme ridden final.

    “2021 has been Charlotte’s first season contending workers, and she absolutely loves it,” adds Lindsey. “One of my highlights was watching her jump round HOYS this year; it was amazing.”

    Charlotte adds: “Jamie’s Lad started the season as a novice, so finishing fourth at HOYS with him was incredible.”

    At home, Charlotte Tuck is very involved in the day-to-day running of the yard and is hands on with the ponies.

    “My ultimate aim is to win HOYS or the RIHS on a working hunter pony, as this is still a new field for me,” says Charlotte. “The 2021 season has been tricky, as I was taking my GCSEs and I found it hard to fit the ponies in between.

    “I will always look up to Charlotte Dujardin who started showing with the BSPS and is now an Olympic gold medalist.”

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