FREQUENTLY touted as one of the country’s most promising event riders, having represented Great Britain on both junior and young rider teams, Kelso’s Charlotte Agnew now has her sights firmly set on Rio 2016.
And, with another successful season behind her and the setting-up of her own yard in Oxfordshire, the 25-year-old from Hendersyde has moved another step closer to her dream.
Having graduated from Edinburgh University with a 2:1 in English literature, Charlotte has moved down south in order to have all the facilities, events and best possible training at her fingertips.
In addition, Charlotte also has an expanding role in the media.
In 2010 she made her TV debut, co-presenting for the BBC at Blair Castle International Horse Trials, and on a journalistic note she has been a regular correspondent for Horse and Hound and Eventing magazines over the last five years.
During this time, however, she has been a frequent visitor to the Borders where mum Livy, dad James, and sisters George and Al welcome her back with open arms.
Talking of her life away from home, Charlotte told TheSouthern: “I have been in the yard almost two years now and am settling in well. This year had been easier as the yard is now familiar, but I still miss home and the lovely hills.
“The Oxfordshire yard is very central to many events which means I have managed to cut down the travelling time and usually manage to get home in the daylight. There are regular competitions within an hour’s drive and lots of training opportunities nearby.”
Despite the miles that separate her from her family, however, Charlotte still manages to involve them in her new life.
“My mum is chief organiser, and does an amazing job at it,” she explained.
“She does all my entries and bills which leaves me able to focus on the riding and developing my business.
“Both of my parents are hugely supportive, and I couldn’t begin to do it without them.
“My sisters have a variety of roles including groom, PA, PR manager and general morale booster, all of which I couldn’t live without.”
In return, the eldest Agnew sibling is more than happy to help out back at home.
Last month she returned to take part in the family’s annual Horse Trials where she sponsored a number of classes. Her entry in the Sunday classes was interrupted by torrential rain, which led to the unfortunate abandonment of competition, but Charlotte took the disappointment in her stride and rallied round to support the Hendersyde team in managing the cancellation.
Earlier this year, Charlotte travelled to Germany for the CCI **** competition at Luhmuhlen with regular mount Out of Africa Two.
Talking of her experience, she told us: “I really enjoyed going away to an overseas international event. Unfortunately, time faults dropped us from second to fifth place, but I am very satisfied with the result as the horse was improving all the time.”
The next step for Charlotte is to be selected for the Senior European Championships next year, with a longer-term aim of Olympic qualification in 2016, and is equally keen to help young riders who want to progress and work professionally in the sport.
Speaking from experience, she elaborated: “You can do most things with determination, hard work and persistence, and progress by paying attention to detail and keeping positive.”
Charlotte is a talented up-and-coming rider, bubbling with enthusiasm and ideas, and is always looking for owners and sponsors who would like to support the next generation of riders and in return can provide a very personable package representing exciting opportunities in the sport.