When your wildest dream about Burghley really does come true

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Charlotte Brear 1 e1441724790774 436x291 - When your wildest dream about Burghley really does come true

Charlotte Brear-1When she got home on Sunday night, having driven back from the Land Rover Burghley Horse Trials held between 3-6 September, 27 year-old Charlotte Brear from Bingley in West Yorkshire must have wondered if the last four days had been a dream.
To compete at the world famous Burghley horse trials, rubbing shoulders with the sport’s Olympic champions, must be every event rider’s ultimate ambition. But amateur rider Charlotte, seemed totally oblivious of her own achievement. This might eventually sink-in when she sees herself featured in several of the leading national equestrian magazines.
Charlotte’s is a fairy tale story and shows there is hope for every amateur rider with a horse. No flash horse box and a string of horses for Charlotte, she has one horse only, the only horse she has ever owned, and looks after it herself at a DIY livery at Guiseley, near Leeds. Likewise her horse, Manor Missile, was not an expensive purchase coming ready trained from some top yard. Rather he, known as Siren to his friends, is a strapping 12-year-old 17.1HH gelding, sired by the thoroughbred, Honeybrook Siren, a son of Cruise Missile, out of a Shire mare owned by the same person who originally lent Charlotte a pony. This is Charlotte’s first and only horse, one she backed and produced herself.
“He’s my only horse,” said Charlotte, who works for her family’s business repairing car gear boxes. “My aim with him initially was to compete at Novice level, but he kept stepping up the levels easily, so we just kept going.”
The pair have completed five three-star competitions this season in order to get to the Land Rover Burghley Horse Trials. They have never incurred a cross-country jumping penalty in international competition – a record she maintained on the imposing cross-country course at Burghley, but did collect 36.4 time faults. “He’s a bold, honest jumper, but I did take some of the longer routes. I was supposed to walk the course with Ben Hobday who helps me, but he isn’t here as he’s not well, so Emily Lochore gave me a few pointers.”
Just as well as Charlotte had never been to Burghley, nor any other 4* event before, not even as a spectator, so did run the risk of getting lost. “I think I amused the organisers as they told me I couldn’t come to the event on my own, so I put my Mum down as coming too, but she’s frightened of Siren and won’t come near him! He’s a one person horse – he likes me, but then I do look after him all myself.” Charlotte was listed in the official programme as her groom!
So how did Charlotte and Siren fare? Dressage is not their strong point and she admitted some of the audience laughed at their flying changes, so suffice to say she was near the bottom of the results list following this phase. But after cross-country she rose to 46th and with only one pole down in the show jumping, ended the competition in 40th spot. Ahead of numerous famous combinations.
Congratulations Charlotte – you are an inspiration to us all.
Watch-out for our full report in the October edition of Equestrian Life to see how our other local riders fared.

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