Charlie Carrel is based in Sheridan, Wyoming and is planning to compete in the Minnesota Harvest Horse Show Grand Prix of Minnesota. We recently asked him a series of questions, with the idea of helping you get to know the riders who are planning to compete in our Prix. These are his answers.
The horse that I will be riding in the Prix is a Dutch Warmblood named Utopik. My wife Hilary and I own and operate Colts Unlimited in Sheridan, Wyoming. We are a hunter/jumper barn that has clients ranging from Short Stirrup to Grand Prix. We also develop a lot of young horses for trainers and clients all over the country.
I have been riding my entire life – my Dad was a trainer (rodeo, ranch and reining horses), and my sister is a trainer of working cow horses. I grew up on a working cattle ranch, and you were required to learn to ride and do the job of an adult at a very young age. The majority of the fitness work I do with my Grand Prix horses are out on the hay meadows and hills of Wyoming, this gives them a purpose to go forward, changing scenery to keep them interested and uneven terrain to keep their muscles and tendons strong.
I have many high placings in lots of Grand Prix events. My favorite ride was winning a big speed class at Showpark in Del Mar a few years back. My advice to young riders aspiring to compete in the Grand Prix is not to let money be a deterrent. While many of your peers may seem like they have all of the opportunity in the world handed to them, you can still get there with nothing but hard work. All good professionals will help a kid reach their goals that is willing to work and devote their all to the art of riding a show jumper.
In my spare time I enjoy spending time with my family: wife Hilary, and sons Isaac and Seth.