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Life lessons: Simon Charlesworth — ‘If a horse isn’t ready I won’t put it in the ring’ *H&H Plus*

The show producer on his minty addiction, getting fired up before a show and an eccentric championship performance that stuck with him forever.

Simon is a leading producer who has won at all major shows, including Horse of the Year Show (HOYS). He landed the supreme there in 2012 with hack Pearly King and also led the 2015 Cuddy in-hand supreme winner Romanno Royale.

Patience is key. I think a lot of good horses are rushed, and doing too much too soon can spoil them. Nowadays there is a massive lack of animals being bred, so we need to make the good ones last.

I don’t like to over show my horses; I pick and choose shows and produce my horses with a certain day in mind. If a horse isn’t ready I won’t put it in the ring.

We really took our time with Pearly King (Elvis). We initially took him to smaller shows for education, and even after his novice season he wasn’t quite ready to deal with the atmosphere at the bigger shows. It can take five years to make a horse but only five minutes to ruin one. It takes a long time to put everything back together again, so be patient and it will pay off.

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