Charlotte rode Carl Hester and Coral Ingham’s eight-year-old Everdale gelding Imhotep, on whom she swept the board at this year’s Lemieux National Dressage Championships, won with a +84% score, 7% ahead of second-placed Andrew Gould on Genie I.
The class, an inter I freestyle, is for eight- to 10-year-old horses. Charlotte has now won it five years in a row; her previous winning rides include the medal-winning Hawtins Delicato and Mount St John Freestyle.
“I’m absolutely thrilled,” Charlotte said. “This is the first time he’s done a big competition like that; to come into that arena and that atmosphere and environment, and perform like he did; I think that’s the best he’s done it.
“He’s got the biggest heart and he tries so hard; he’s definitely one who will be lining up for Paris.”
Charlotte said the HOYS Dressage Future Elite class is a great way of giving young horses the exposure and experience of competing in a high-level show atmosphere.
“You can’t ever set up a stage like that; it’s like Olympia, the special vibe,” she said. “So for him to come here and do that is great.
Imhotep, who is known as Peter in the stable — “I don’t know why he’s called that; I think he looks like Alex the Lion from Madagascar,” Charlotte said — is a hot, sensitive horse, with a “never-ending engine”.
“He just keeps going and going, and he’s so bouncy, you feel you’re on springs, riding him,” Charlotte said, adding that the aim is to move him up to grand prix next year. “His piaffe and passage feels really easy, I’m so looking forward to riding him at grand prix, and I don’t think he’s been beaten yet.”
Charlotte says she loves coming to HOYS, which holds years of memories,
“To be able to go into that arena again and perform, and be under the spotlight; nothing beats it,’ she said.”
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