Showjumping great David Broome has predicted a “fantastic future” for 16-year-old Harry Charles after the Hampshire teenager claimed the biggest senior win of his career.
Charles, who last year was part of the Junior team that won bronze at the FEI European Jumping Championship for Children, Juniors and Young Riders at Lake Arena, Austria, beat his father — London 2012 gold medallist Peter Charles — into second place at the Welsh Masters, clinching a £1,500 top prize following a sparking performance aboard the former Laura Collett-ridden eventer Strides Controe.
And it left Broome, whose equestrian venue near Chepstow in South Wales hosted the event, gushing with praise.
“He went superbly,” Broome said. “His horse jumped very well, he rode it brilliantly and he beat his dad, which was no mean achievement.
“We have watched Harry progress over the years, and every time I see him he gets better. He is the right physique, he has a good eye with flair and a very sound head. He has a fantastic future ahead of him in the sport. It was very pleasing to watch him. He rode faultlessly, and he really deserved to win.”
Charles’s triumph made him the youngest rider to ever win the Welsh Masters, which has been running for 12 years.
He took the top prize after dominating a five horse jump-off, clocking a time of 35.85 seconds, while Peter and Stapleton Mist posted 37.46 seconds, with Nicholas Benterman (TJ Mullanacross Maliro) third, Matthew Sampson (Perfect Rouge) fourth and Adrian Whiteway (Cojack) fifth.
Reflecting on his finest career victory at senior level, Alton-based Charles said: “I took what dad did in his jump-off round, and then tried to jump it quicker. It was a very careful (first round) course – definitely bigger than 1.40m. It was tricky, with just five clears from 40 starters, so it took some jumping.
“The horse is a nine-year-old that used to event with Laura Collett, and showjumped up to 1.30m. I am just going to keep the horse sweet, and keep him ticking along.”
The senior Charles added: “I said to Harry when I bought the horse that he’s really sharp and quick. He might even jump a Nations Cup one day. He is not short of jump, and he is quick away.”
Harry Charles also competed a double by winning the Gents Final 24 hours earlier aboard Vivaldi Du Dom, while the Ladies Final saw second and third-placed finishes, respectively, for his younger sisters Sienna, who is only 13 years-old, and 15-year-old Scarlett.
Image: Harry Charles won team bronze at the FEI European Jumping Championship for Children, Juniors, Young riders at Lake Arena last summer, by Herve Bonnaud, courtesy of the FEI