Harry Charles landed the Stoneleigh Stakes in a tough-thought-provoking jump-off to round off day one of the International classes on Victor.
Ten from 24 starters came forward to an unusual jump-off – the riders had to choose their own track in a take-your-own-line style. After returning the quickest round in round one, Harry was in the advantageous final draw, and it paid dividends when he followed Richard Howley and Chinook into the ring.
"I saw Richard's round, and I thank him for the course," said Harry, 19, who won by 0.23 sec. "I had a different one planned, but I saw Richard's and I thought it was way quicker than my original course. My horse is an ex-eventing horse, so I knew he could do the turns easily and maybe shave a fraction of a second off, and he did. It has been a dream start to the show for me."
Harry was quick to praise the Vanoverbeek 11-year-old Victor.
"He’s brave and the more I dare him, the better he jumps. We have a great system at home, so when we come to a show, everything works like it has. I want to thank everyone behind me for making moments like this possible. This show is right up there, and there is nothing like a home crowd. It gives you that extra bit of drive as well."
Richard and the Tygo 11-year-old Chinook had to settle for second with Robert Murphy the closest Brit in seventh on Chablis.
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