London, England – December 20, 2021 – It was an action-packed final day of The London International Horse Show CSI 5*-W. The prestigious €125,000 London Grand Prix CSI 5*-W provided a fitting conclusion to the five-day event, with Harry Charles following-up on yesterday’s success to take the spoils. His victory sealed his status as the Leading Rider of the Show.
The London Grand Prix provided a spectacular finale to the 2021 Show. A challenging course designed by Guillherme Jorge (BRA) left no room for error, demanding precision and power to achieve the all-important clear round required to progress to the jump-off.
Nine combinations made it through to contest the second round against the clock. In-form Harry Charles made a very good start aboard the 15-year-old bay Dutch Warmblood gelding Borsato to put the pressure on, with a clear in the time of 33.53, going one step closer to emulating his father’s 1993 victory in this class. France’s Edward Levy (FRA) followed and put in a valiant effort, although not quite matching Charles’ pace.
Yesterday’s FEI Jumping World Cup runner-up Harrie Smolders (NED) was the next to jump a clear, although again, not able to match the level set by Charles. Even Olympic champion Ben Maher (GBR) had to settle for second place, despite pulling out all the stops in a round which will have had Charles worried. In victory, Charles becomes the first rider to do the London leg of the Longines FEI Jumping World Cup and the London Grand Prix double since Robert Smith in 2005.
Winner’s Circle – Harry Charles (GBR)
An elated Charles said: “Weekends don’t get better than this. I’ll probably never have another weekend like it in my life! Thank you everyone for putting on such an amazing show, it’s my first time here and I can’t wait to come back! To be honest, I didn’t think I’d done enough. The guys behind me are all so quick, I just did all could and I’m absolutely ecstatic.”
Charles went on to praise the jubilant home supporters: “The crowd make this show what it is, so I would like to thank everyone for supporting all of us this week.”
Final Results – €125,000 The London Grand Prix CSI 5*-W
1) Harry Charles (GBR) & Borsato – 0 / 0 – 33.53
2) Ben Maher (GBR) & Ginger Blue – 0 / 0 – 33.94
3) Edward Levy (FRA) & Rebeca LS – 0 / 0 – 34.30
Source: Press Release from Revolution Sports for The London International Horse Show
Photos: © The London International Horse Show / Horsepower / Kit Houghton