Charlotte Jorst

17 Aug

Charlotte Akeem 1Charlotte hacking Akeem in Florida

 
There are so many ways to talk about American dressage rider Charlotte Jorst.
In the past year, her local-to-California profile got raised several notches to international, thanks to being picked as part of the USEF’s CDI Observation Event Squad sent to Europe.
And then her results at prestigious CDIO 5* shows such as Hagen and Rotterdam put the cherry on the icing of the cake, most assuredly the team bronze at Rotterdam thanks in part to her Grand Prix Special ride for third place and a 71.33 behind Dutch team members Diederik van Silfhout and Patrick van der Meer.
“I think ,yes, that was my favorite memory of Europe, “ says Charlotte. “Walking through the tree-canopy trail to get to the huge show arena—and then the enormous crowd and the atmosphere! And then—everything falling together, finding my focus, feeling the flow into the next movement. “ She thinks for a moment, then adds, “That is where I really learned not to be intimidated, to realize that I can belong in this.”
One can also talk about Charlotte in terms of her horses.
Her partner in Europe was the 12 year old KWPN stallion Nintendo, and she is excited about his development. “I really think he is now getting more supple, bigger in the movements. Only the changes—but that is me, not him,” she adds with her characteristic honesty. “Just have to work harder!”
Also in Europe was Adventure, a 10 year old KWPN gelding, who gained top ten placings in small tour at the huge shows. “He is showing a real talent for piaffe and passage—I hope to bring him out at Grand Prix later this year,” she says.
Charlotte and ‘the boys’ are now back at home in Nevada, where she is enjoying being on her own, letting the two horses enjoy the longtime routine of power walks under saddle, hacking, and only once in a while, working a movement here and there. “I give them lots of praise! They really seem to love it, and I just keep giving it to them. I believe in that,’ she says.
Also at home is Akeem Foldager, the sensational gelding that Andreas Helgstrand thought to have for the Danish team. But difficulty dogged this horse before even Helgstrand had him, and has continued in his time with Charlotte. “Sadly, he is just turned out, probably for good. It is proving too difficult to keep him sound. But he has my pasture for his life, he deserves that.”
Vitalis, the magnificent KWPN stallion with whom Charlotte won US Young Horse Championship 6 year olds and then took to Verden for the international Young Horse, is now 8 years old and back in full training. Charlotte’s trainer, US Olympian Guenter Seidel, “has kept him in training while I was in Europe.” She nods, “We gave him a long time off after World Young horse, and he has had so many breeding commitments—but now he is going really well.”
“Training for top sport,” she continues, “is very demanding, very focused—and of course, nothing is ever as good as it could be. It can get very depressing. I need these times at home to just have it be me and the horses, enjoying each other, we focus only on what we want…”
Also at home is her new horse, Ray Dance, who qualified to go to Verden World Young Horse, but now is in Charlotte’s barn. “He is 6 years old, real collection is already easy for him! Riding him is very exciting!”
Her youngest horse, Forlan, was bopught as a 4 year old late last year, and has remained in Europe where he just won the Danish Nation Championship for 5 year olds. He will stay in Europe for another year because Charlotte has an ambitious showing calendar coming up. She hopes to start all of them back to competition with CDNs in California, and then go to Florida again for the winter circuit and CDIs.
And of course, there is the small matter of her growing clothing company, Kastel, which she tells me, just added 65 outlets in Germany. “Well, I like to be busy,” she says. Kastel’s sunscreen SPF shirts have added a touch of elegance to horse sport wear, and now they will have a new fall line for cooler weather—sweat jackets and shirts made of a new very fine, thin light wool cut the same as the summer shirts, long and short sleeve.
Anything Charlotte touches seems to bloom, so I ask if she any Vitalis babies. “No, not really.” But then a few days later, a text: She has just gotten word that the elegant mare she showed in Wellington, Fraktura, will need a few months off to let her hooves grow out, so off to the breeding shed (metaphorically,as this will be AI)
It will be interesting to see how all this develops as dressage riders in the US and elsewhere prepare to qualify to make teams for next year’s Olympics in Rio.
I do not count out Charlotte Jorst.

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