The Welsh Masters, held at Wales & West 14 – 17 April, proved to be a Charles’ family benefit as father Peter and siblings Harry, Scarlett and Sienna (Hampshire) all featured prominently in the show’s major classes.
However, it was 16 year-old Harry who topped the honours, taking the highly prestigious Martin Collins 1.40m Grand Prix ahead of dad Peter and also the earlier Gents Final. There were just five forward to the jump off in the Grand Prix with Peter Charles MBE putting in a great round on John Roberts’ Stapleton Mist for a clear in 37.46 seconds. Soon after, Harry – currently the Junior European Individual Silver and Team Bronze Medallist – entered the arena on Karen Bartlett’s Strides Controe, coolly shaving 1.61 seconds off the time to take the class and the £1500 first prize.
Nicholas Benterman (Yelden, Bedfordshire) was the only other double clear, finishing on 45.26 seconds, on board Rachel Gascoine’s TJ Mullanacross Maliro for third place.
The Martin Collins 1.40m Grand Prix Qualifier went to the experienced William Funnell (Surrey) riding Carol Toliver’s Billy Cool to take home the £1000 first prize ahead of North Yorkshire’s Alex Gill who was riding another Billy horse, Billy Grand, owned by Julie Slade. In third place, by just 0.52 of a second, was Matthew Sampson (Aston, near Sheffield) on his own Perfect Rouge.
Harry Charles’ sisters were beaten into second and third place in the Ladies Final by Kent’s Jane Annett riding her own Pallas Masterclass. All three recorded double clears, with Jane finishing on 39.33, 3.04 seconds ahead of 13 year-old Scarlett riding her father’s Chaitanya who in turn was less than half a second ahead of 15 year-old Scarlett on Sacree de Rouet, also owned by her father.
Harry won the Gent’s Final on his European Championship ride, Vivaldi du Rom – again, owned by Peter – by the tiny margin of 0.04 of a second from Michael Fursedonn (Brentwood, Essex). Riding his own Darcode, on which he did so well at the Wales & West April Mixed meeting earlier in the month, Michael demoted Alex Hempleman (based in Surrey) to third place on board Billy Dinero owned by Jenny Bingham.
Another Billy Stud horse featured in the 7/8 Year Old Final when Billy Buckingham, ridden by Lucy Bunn from West Sussex, took third place behind winner Daniel Moseley, also from Surrey, who was riding Andrew Saywell’s Dakota R, and second-placed Nicola Barry (Whitwick, Leicestershire) on her own Darien II.
Full results can be found on www.theshowground.com