Last-fence heartbreak for Harry Charles in World Showjumping Championships

  • Great Britain’s Harry Charles produced an exceptional round on day one of the Agria FEI World Showjumping Championships at Herning, Denmark, and looked to be in line to post a clear round as he headed towards the 14th and final fence riding the 13-year-old Romeo 88.

    However, agonisingly, the pair just tapped the top white rail of a vertical over a water tray to add four penalties to a solid time of 84.50sec. Their final score was still good enough for a top 20 standing at the halfway stage in this opening speed leg of the World Showjumping Championships.

    “These things happen – he jumped the other 13 jumps fantastic,” reflected Harry. “He just made one small mistake at the last one and unfortunately paid the price.”

    Harry was left ruing a last-minute decision about how to ride the crucial final line.

    “I know it was a nine strides more than an eight strides,” he said. “I was guilty of watching a few other riders and seeing them doing the eight strides and I did change my plan last minute.”

    Harry was full of praise though for his own and Ann Thompson’s Tokyo Olympic ride Romeo 88, who looked to be in great form.

    “He’s really fresh – it’s always been a thing with him to try not to have him too fresh because he has so much energy and stamina,” said Harry. “So it’s about keeping his head in the right place.

    “We’ve been together a year and a half. So last year, especially with the Olympics, we got to know each other a lot better. We’ve just grown and grown to be honest. He’s got better and better. He feels in great form and hopefully we can jump some clear rounds now for the rest of the week.”

    Harry’s round came on the back of pathfinder Joe Stockdale’s four-fault round on Equine America Cacharel earlier in the day at the World Showjumping Championships.

    Next up for the British team is Ben Maher on Faltic HB, with Scott Brash last to go on Hello Jefferson.

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