Charlotte Bredahl-Baker – Judge, Olympian, Trainer, Competitor and Breeder
She may be lead clinician for the current round of Platinum Performance/USDF Adult Clinics, but Charlotte Bredahl-Baker isn't just spending this year in the teaching arena. She's not only a popular dressage instructor and coach, but she's also a successful trainer, competitor and breeder. Add to that the role of international dressage judge. "I got to do some great CDIs in the past year – the Palm Beach Derby, Raleigh and Del Mar and Gladstone. It's all been very fun and also very challenging and educational. It is great to be able to ask questions of some of the top judges in the world so that I'm always learning every time I judge." Among shows this upcoming season that Charlotte is excitedly looking forward to judging the Gold Coast Opener CDI in Wellington in January and the first year of CDI competition of the year on the West Coast being held in Indio, California in February.
As a competitor and trainer, one thing that has most thrilled Charlotte in recent years is the competitive success of her own young horses. She bought her first stallion—a black, 5 year old 17-hand Hanoverian named Windfall CB — in Denmark and imported him in 2000. Windfall, who is out of St Pr St Fergie by Weltmeyer, was the 2001 USDF Third Level Horse of the Year with a median score of 72 percent. In 2002, he was the Hanoverian Horse of the Year at Fourth Level. Also in 2002, he was approved as a breeding stallion by the American Hanoverian Society. He has also been approved by the ISR, the Oldenburg Verband and the Rheinland-Pfalz-Saar. In 2004, he was named the USDF Horse of the Year in Intermediaire I with a median score of 71 percent. He was also named AHS High Score of FEI that year. He has turned out to be an extremely successful breeding stallion. "All his babies are so trainable. They all have very light mouths," Charlotte said.
One of those fabulous babies is Westpoint, sired by her stallion Windfall CB and out of Kismet. Charlotte describes the five-year-old as "the coolest horse ever. He's just got everything I could ever want in a horse. He's light as a feather, easy off the leg, super sensitive and smart. He wants to be good and has tons of power behind. When competing at First Level this year Westpoint's median score was 73 percent and 71 percent at Second Level. Charlotte will be busy in young horse and USEF competition this year with Westpoint.
At the FEI level, she'll be spotted in the show ring with the 12-year-old Dutch Warmblood gelding Eskada. Eskada has been training for the Grand Prix and Charlotte is looking toward competing him at that level in 2010.
One of Charlotte's riding highlights in 2009 wasn't in the show ring, but performing a popular and entertaining Pas de Deux during the 2009 Dressage World Cup in Las Vegas with Liberty Light, owned by Cathey Cadieux. "The Pas de Deux competition was incredibly well received and it was really fun. I think that's one of the things we really need to do for the sport of dressage is to do some things that are just fun without so many rules. I had SO MUCH fun doing that John Travolta move coming down centerline. I think we need to do more things like that Pas de Deux in order to attract sponsors to the sport and to get people to come," Charlotte said. "Essentially, we need to do things that get people to bring their families and friends. I also participated in the reining challenge at the 2009 Dressage World Cup and that was also a lot of fun. People really love it when you are out of your element."
Making a Difference