Further Personal Information
||Athlete, Coach, Horse Trainer
Sport Specific Information
|When and where did you begin this sport?
||Her mother produced ponies and her elder sister rode, so she naturally followed their influence as a child. She got her first taste of dressage through rider/trainer Debbie Thomas, who allowed her to ride her GP horse Truday, at age 13. “I was only about 13 and remember doing flying changes and thought ‘this is amazing’,” she says, adding that she simply decided one day she didn't want to show anymore, and wanted to focus solely on dressage.
|Why this sport?
||Her mother produced ponies and she and her elder sister Emma-Jayne grew up in the ring with show ponies. She attributes her 'poise in the ring' to her grounding in showing. “Showing certainly taught me ring-craft and gave me a confidence in the arena – I learnt to rise to the occasion and I was always competitive. I always wanted to beat my sister – I hated not winning,” she says.
|Name of coach
|Coach from what year?
||On her 'rare days off' she enjoys catching up on sleep, being with her partner Dean Golding, their boxer Winnie and rabbit Mofro. (carlhester.co.uk, 25 Jul 2011; horseandhound.co.uk, 08 Jun 2011)
|Most influential person in career
||“Of course I am lucky – I wouldn’t be where I am without Carl – he was my idol.” (eurodressage.com, 08 Jul 2011)
||To earn a place on the GB Team for the London 2012 Olympic Games. (eurodressage.com, 08 Jul 2011)
||MASTER VS. PUPIL GRAND PRIX DEBUT
In her first national competitive Grand Prix at Addington Manor EC in January 2011, she scored 74.61 percent to take victory, along the way beating her coach Carl Hester who finished second with 74.25 percent. “Charlotte is so dedicated and has an amazing feel for grand prix,” Hester said afterwards. “I don’t think anyone else in the world has gone out and scored 74 percent in their first grand prix. She is such an exciting prospect." (equitogs.co.uk, 26 Jan 2011)
INTERNATIONAL GRAND PRIX WIN
After claiming victory in her first national Grand Prix, she also won her first international Grand Prix in 2011 in France. Her victories came on the horse Valegro [stable name Blueberry], which she said earned comparisons in France to Totilas, the most successful dressage horse ever. “There has always been pressure with Blueberry and before every test I do worry – everyone expects a lot – but once I’m on, I just get on with it. Even in the grand prix special – which was my first ride through the test, I hadn’t even practised it at home – at one point I remember thinking ‘this isn’t bad and I’m even enjoying it’," she said. However the victory was marred somewhat by a car accident on the way home, luckily neither horse nor human was injured in the mishap. (eurodressage.com, 08 Jul 2011)
She originally started to ride Valegro while her horse Fernandez was injured. Leading up to the 2009 national advanced-medium title, the pair had won 'all but one of the championships they contested'. However the 2009 title got away from her, which she attributes to putting too much pressure on herself. “It was supposedly the last day that I was going to ride [Valegro] and I wanted to win so badly that I let my nerves get the better of me and I hated every minute of the test. After I said that I would never put myself under such pressure again and therefore not enjoy it. You have to enjoy it and I love every bit of what I do.” (eurodressage.com, 08 Jul 2011)
After leaving school at age 16, during which time she won Horse of the Year show four times and Hickstead three times showing ponies, she went to work for Judy Harvey for four years. In early 2007 she came to Carl Hester for a series of lessons upon her mother's recommendation. Hester asked her to help out for a couple of weeks, and 'she never left after that'. In 2010 she was living on site at Hester's yard in Newent, Gloucestershire, and is featured prominently in his DVD 'At Home with Carl Hester'. Hester says he initially kept her on after her ten day stint because he thought she had a real determination and could see she 'so badly wanted it': "“I saw in her the same person I had been at the same age – someone looking for a break. She is incredibly hard working and will do what it takes. Even when I was busy and it was difficult to find time in the day for me to teach she would be there and ready at six o’clock in the morning – certainly more taxing for me than her,” Hester said. (carlhester.co.uk, 25 Jul 2011; manage-my-horse.com, 05 Jul 2010; eurodressage.com, 08 Jul 2011)
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|There are no current results available for this athlete.|