Charlotte Jorst & Vitalis Post Highest Ever USA 6YO Qualifying Score for Verden World Champs
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By KENNETH J. BRADDICK
Vitalis was ridden by Charlotte Jorst on Saturday to the likely highest score ever for a United States six-year-old to qualify for the World Young Horse Championships in Germany, a major step toward the Danish-born rider’s goal of making an American Olympic team.
The 48-year-old mother of two daughters, both hunter/jumper riders, rode the KWPN stallion at Flintridge Riding Club in La Cañada-Flintridge, a small affluent Los Angeles community, to a total of 9.192, posting a final test result of 9.2 after the score in the preliminary class of 9.18. A minimum of 8.2 at this West Coast event or the East Coast trial at Leesburg, Virginia in two weeks are required to qualify for the championships in Verden, Germany in August.
“I am so excited, this is so outstanding,” said Charlotte of the ride on Vitalis (Vivaldi x D-Day) that she bought in late 2012 after the horse competed at the world championships in Verden as a five-year-old ridden by Marieke van der Putten, stable rider for Hans Peter Minderhoud of the Netherlands.
The chestnut was at the 2009 Westfalen stallion licensing in Münster, Germany in 2009 and leased to the Warendorf state stud for two years.
“It feels really good to have a great combination in good hands,” said Scott Hassler, the U.S. young horse coach who was in California for the qualifier and has worked with Charlotte of Reno, Nevada.
Volker Brommann, German-born trainer who moved to the United States 30 years ago, is her fulltime coach.
She also plans to get help from Steffen Peters in preparing for the young horse championships that Scott described as “a very complete strategic approach” to peak at the Verden competition.
“This is very good for the United States,” he said. “We should be excited by this.”
Charlotte and her husband, Henrik, built Skagen Designs from a small watch company in a niche market into a worldwide brand that was acquired by Fossil, the largest watch company in the world. She became an American citizen in 1995. One daughter, Christine, lives in Dallas and works for Fossil while the other daughter, Camilla, attends New York University and rides on the school’s equestrian team.
In addition to Vitalis, Charlotte owns and rides Adventure, an eight-year-old black KWPN gelding by Ferro that she also imported late in 2012 and is now preparing for U.S. Developing Horse Prix St. Georges competition, and Tristan, a KWPN gelding by the jumper stallion Burggraaf that she has owned for almost three years.
She has enjoyed success in California but has her eyes on the 2016 Olympics with either Vitalis or Adventure.
By the time of the Games in Rio de Janeiro, Vitalis will be 10 years old and Adevnture 12.
“I’ve never had a horse like Vitalis,” she said. “My goal is to try to make the Olympics. I’m going to work on it. We have three horses to try for it. I’ll keep trying until I do it.
“The result this weekend was amazing, really outstanding. It’s pretty cool.”