Charlotte Jorst Tops Field with Up and Coming FEI Talent
Monday, February 28, 2022
Posted by Alice Collins for Jennifer Wood Media, Inc.
Week seven of the 2022 Adequan® Global Dressage Festival (AGDF) in Wellington, Florida, wrapped up on Sunday, February 27, with further qualifying rounds of both the Lövsta Future Challenge Young Horse Grand Prix Series and the Summit Farm Future Challenge Young Horse Prix St. Georges Series.
Danish-born American rider Charlotte Jorst — who has enjoyed grand prix triumphs this season with her top horse Kastel’s Nintendo — proved that she has a worthy successor in her small tour horse Zhaplin Langholt. Jorst topped the Summit Farm Future Challenge riding the nine-year-old to 74.146%, almost five percentage points clear of the field.
Photo - Charlotte Jorst rode the nine-year-old Zhaplin Langholt — a former Danish young horse champion — to the top of the leaderboard in the Summit Farm Future Challenge Young Horse Prix St. Georges. (©susanjstickle.com)
These classes aim to identify and nurture talented, up-and-coming young FEI horses, giving them exposure to benefit their development for the biggest of world stages. Grand finals for both classes take place during AGDF 11. The AGDF circuit hosts seven weeks of CDI competition and runs through March 27.
Both Jorst and second-placed Michael Klimke (GER), who chalked up 69.264% on the Astrix son Harmony’s Astro, qualified for the final on March 25. Anna Marek (USA) filled third with 69.087% on Donauwelle P. Last to go of the seven contenders, Jorst produced a powerful yet harmonious performance on the leggy gelding by Zonik NOP. Under Danish Olympian Andreas Helgstrand, Zhaplin Langholt won the 2018 Danish young horse championship. Jorst bought him as a five-year-old but injuries and juggling international travel have meant that she has only been riding him consistently herself for the past 12 months or so.
“He’s just incredible,” she enthused. “He’s great in the ring, has a great mind and great gaits. He is the complete package. The past three months he’s been coming along like crazy. He’s so willing and already piaffes and passages, so I think he’s going to be my next [top] horse.
“The trot is always the easiest for him; you can just collect him, and he comes back in balance,” said Jorst, who amassed a smattering of nines in the test. “He’s so willing and wonderful. He really is like Nintendo: he likes being in the ring. He gets in there and he grows and looks at people and thinks they’re all there for him.”
Jorst is grateful of the opportunities the Future Challenge series offers.
“This class is such a good initiative because it gives us the courage to get out with these young horses, and even if there’s a little mistake here and there, it’s not judged so harshly. It’s a fantastic idea for young horses that you want to bring up through the levels. I’m so looking forward to doing the final with Zhaplin,” she added.
Jorst is mindful of not pushing the big-moving horse too fast.
“I’ll let him lead me, because I don’t want him to get injured,” she explained. “That step from the I-1 to the grand prix is always so treacherous, so I’m just going to take it really easy. Even if it takes him another year, I’ll do that, because he’s so special. Hopefully I’ll bring him to grand prix; he has his one-time changes, so it’s just about putting it all together.”
Her plans for summer include possibly campaigning Zhaplin at CDI small tour, with an eye on one of her favorite venues.
“It would just be to get him in the rings and get him around — not do too much, because I don’t want to ruin him. If we could do Aachen in the Prix St. Georges, that would just be unbelievable. To ride into that stadium with that horse, I could just lay down and die afterwards. It would be the best day of my life,” added the 57-year-old.
Sunday’s action marks the end of week seven of the 12-week 2022 AGDF. International competition resumes in week eight on March 2-6 with CDI-W and CDI4* competition in the Palm Beach Dressage Derby, as well as a full roster of tests in the national arenas. For more information and results, visit www.globaldressagefestival.com.