Hi, I’m British show jumper Charlotte Platt. Here is my first weekly blog for Horse & Hound, which I’m writing from sunny Tuscany, in Italy.
I am here for three weeks on the Toscana tour (similar to the Spanish sunshine tour and Portuguese Atlantic tour) to get the horses up and running after a quiet winter. I have brought seven horses with me — Paulien II, Lacanda, Sunflower P, Ulien V and three new horses owned by Beth Gillespie — USA Today, Undercover and Ucon.
There are hundreds of horses and riders here and the courses are all about 5cm bigger than it says in the schedule. I’ve been living in the lorry for three weeks — which has been fun.
It’s all been going really well — I’ve been placed in lots of classes and all the horses are jumping well. They definitely feel ready for the new season. The weather here is fantastic, apart from two days of snow we had, which was a bit random!
My life is not usually this glamorous though! For the rest of the year I am based in the village of Henfield in West Sussex — right next to Hickstead showground. Life at home is great. My parents live in the main farmhouse while I live on a different part of the farm with my fiancé, fellow show jumper Ronnie Healy. It is very much a family-run business and we all work well together. The day starts at about 8am and we ride all day every day.
We have two young riders based with us — Irish rider Kelly O’Connor and English rider Marla Lovett who are hopefuls for the young rider and junior European teams.
My biggest achievement so far was in the Super League at Hickstead in 2008 where I jumped a double clear on Paulien II and the team finished second. It was my first Super League.
This year is all about the European Championships — I would love to be in the running for that.
I”ll be keeping you all up to date with my weekly news and gossip so log on next Tuesday to read my latest instalment.