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A little help from a friend secures Harry Charles and Aralyn Blue the win in the CSI5* 1.55m Stuttgart German Masters

Saturday, 18 November 2023
CSI5*-W Stuttgart German Masters 2023

Photo © Jenny Abrahamsson/WoSJ. Harry Charles and Aralyn Blue, winners of the CSI5* 1.55m Stuttgart German Masters. All photos © Jenny Abrahamsson for World of Showjumping.


Text © World of Showjumping



Great Britain's Harry Charles continued his winning form in Stuttgart, Germany, when taking the top honours in Friday night's CSI5*-W 1.55m Stuttgart German Masters with Ann Thompson's Aralyn Blue (Chacco-Blue x Ludwig As, bred by Franjo Udovc). 

The twelve best riders from Thursday's CSI5*-W 1.50m Prize of Firma XXL-Sicherheit and Friday's CSI5* 1.55m Prize of iWEST – which Charles won with Billabong du Roumois (Mylord Carthago x Papillon Rouge, bred by Philippe Berthol) – were qualified for Friday's highlight at the Hanns-Martin-Schleyer Halle in Stuttgart. With €100,000 prize money on offer, the 1.55m class counted for Longines Ranking Group C. 

Photo © Jenny Abrahamsson/WoSJ. "It is one of the most traditional classes we have in the sport still today, so I was already very happy just to be part of it," 24-year-old Harry Charles said after his win in the Stuttgart German Masters.

Six pairs out of the twelve horse-and-rider-combinations at start cleared their way into the deciding jump-off, where Charles and Aralyn Blue stole the show. As the last rider out, the 24-year-old stopped the clock on 35.02 – taking the win ahead of reigning European Champion Steve Guerdat (SUI) and Albführen's Iashin Sitte (Bamako de Muze x Tinka's Boy, bred by Daniel Boudreghien) in second in 35.31 and 2016 Olympic team gold medallist Penelope Leprevost (FRA) aboard Texas (Tornesch x Robin Z, bred by Göran Linell) in third in 37.01.

"Coming here last year for my first time, I was actually one away from qualifying for the Masters, so I sat and watched it and said 'ok, I'll come back next year and I have to jump this class', because it looked so fun," Charles said in the press conference after his victory. "It is one of the most traditional classes we have in the sport still today, so I was already very happy just to be part of it. And when I got in, I put one of my best horses in it, because I wanted to win." 

Photo © Jenny Abrahamsson/WoSJ. "She is quite fiery, she has a bit of spicy to her," Charles said about his horse, the 12-year-old Aralyn Blue.

"I was very fortunate with my great owner Ann Thompson who purchased her for me about two and a half years ago," Charles said about his horse, the 12-year-old Aralyn Blue. "I put her in this class because she is a big jumper and she is super fast when she has to be. She is quite fiery, she has a bit of spice to her but she is a very nice horse to have in the stable. I am very lucky to have her." 

For his winning jump-off, Charles got advice from his good friend and compatriot Scott Brash. "Without his help, I am not sure I would have won. He told me one stride I could do less, and I managed to do it," Charles explained. "I have to thank him, he is great to have when my dad is not here. Scott is one of my closest friends. It is nice, he started off as my hero and idol when I was young, and when I started to do the top-level shows a few years ago, he was the first one to give me some help. It is amazing to have a rider as good as him by my side and when my dad is not here, he helps me and he gave me great advice tonight." 

Photo © Jenny Abrahamsson/WoSJ. Reigning European Champion Steve Guerdat took the runner-up spot with Albführen's Iashin Sitte.

"This was a pretty amazing day, I am for sure that going to forget this in a while," Charles told World of  Showjumping. "This is one of the coolest shows to ride at, actually when I looked at my schedule, the first show I put down for the World Cup-season. After the qualifier, to be in the Masters was amazing and with Steve - a great idol and hero of mine - in the lead, for me to be the last to go and to win like we did, it was amazing. The crowd was one of the best I have ever jumped in front of. Big credit to my team at home, my mum and dad and my sisters watching there, I would have loved for them to be here but I hope that today I made them proud. I am really proud of our team, we don't get days like this too often." 

A fence down in 34.49 left Philipp Schulze Topphoff (GER) and Clemens de la Lande NRW (Comme Il Faut x For Pleasure, bred by Renate Nixdorf) in fourth, while Pius Schwizer (SUI) and Just Special VK (Falaise de Muze x Toulon, bred by M. van Kleef/Stoeterij van Kleef) had to settle for fifth with four faults in 35.84. 


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