Bentworth show jumper Harry Charles has his sights set on next year’s Paris Olympics.
Harry is looking to follow in the footsteps of his father Peter, who won a team gold medal at the London Games in 2012.
Harry – who is currently the world number one under-25 show jumper – made his Olympic debut in Tokyo and since then has gone from strength to strength, winning top international classes worldwide, reaching number 11 in the world and winning a bronze medal at last year’s world championships.
“I went to shows on the weekend – that was how my childhood looked and I loved it.
“Seeing London 2012 first hand with the number of people who came out every day to watch was eye opening. From that moment on it stayed with me – I wanted to do it and here I am.
“Tokyo was amazing. It moved me on a couple of years in my head as a rider – it gave me a chance to grow and learn a lot. It didn’t go as smoothly as I wanted but I’m thankful for everything that happened. I fully know what to expect this time around.
“I’ve been thinking about Paris from the start of this year and been running through in my head which horses could be ready.
“Even now I’m thinking about January, February and March and what the plan is for those three horses I think have a chance. It’s such a long road – there’s quite a lot that can go wrong and a lot of things have to go right. We don’t need to come firing out the blocks next year – just stay a little bit quiet and do a slow build up and hopefully come August we’ll be firing in Paris.
“Blue is the most experienced horse and probably has the best chance at winning a medal. He’s probably the front runner and then I’ve got two great horses behind him. It’s about seeing which one fits the bill at that time.
“Hopefully a few Brits can come out – a few of my friends are hopefully going to go to Paris.”
Harry is set to compete at the London International Horse Show in December.
In 2021 the former Churcher’s College pupil was crowned the leading rider of the London International Horse Show, having won the Longines FEI Jumping World Cup London Leg and the Grand Prix at the show – and he is looking forward to this year’s event.