A FAILED racehorse, rescued by a Hucknall woman, is on course for success — at one of the most prestigious equestrian shows in the country.
In a previous life, thoroughbred Charlie was known as Tellitlikeitis and was set for a career in Flat racing.
But he failed to make the grade, finishing last or next to last in all of his races, even though he was sired by Defacto, who won more than 230,000 dollars when racing in the USA.
Charlie was put out to grass at Malton, North Yorkshire for nearly two years and was barely ridden until he was bought by Helen Thompson (40), of Versailles Gardens, Hucknall, in 2009.
Now he is on the verge of a remarkable turnaround after winning first prize at the Stafford Country Show and qualifying for the Royal International Horse Show at Hickstead in West Sussex later this month — in the more sedate discipline of sidesaddle.
Helen also hopes he will make it to the renowned Horse Of The Year show at the National Exhibition Centre (NEC) in Birmingham in October.
To do this, Charlie must finish in the top two in competitions at either Vale View in Leicester in August or at Burghley in Stamford, Lincolnshire in September.
Helen, who works in financial services, said: “I am so proud of him. He has surpassed all expectations.
“The Horse Of The Year Show and Royal International Horse Show are the pinnacles of the sport. They are the events everyone hopes to compete at.
“It would be amazing to see Charlie perform at both. He is such a nice horse and deserves all the success.”
Charlie is currently stabled at Whysall in Derbyshire at the yard of Helen’s friend, Dot Parker, who currently rides him in competitions. Helen still rides him for pleasure most weekends.
Dot will be in the saddle when Charlie trots into the arena at Hickstead.
Should he qualify for the Horse Of The Year Show, Helen, who has been riding since the age of four, will take over.
In the past year, Charlie’s revival has also seen him take titles at Derby County Show and Market Bosworth. He finished sixth from 34 horses in his first appearance at Burghley last year.