Friday, Jun. 7, 2024

Jacobs Scores A Big Win With The Biggest Personality, And Littlest Horse, In Her Barn

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With top riders like Conor Swail, Nayel Nassar and Tiffany Foster on her heels, Charlotte Jacobs knew she had to be fast with North Star’s Rincoola Milsean to take the win Sunday in the Odlum Brown 1.50-meter Grand Prix CSI4*. Two days prior, she’d finished second in the qualifier at the Thunderbird Odlum Brown BC Open show in Langley, British Columbia.

With a cold rain falling, Jacobs and “Roy” sped around the jump-off in a time of 36.21 seconds to take the win over Kaitlin Campbell and Castlefield Cornelious (37.05).

“I was wet down to my bones. He usually doesn’t like the rain, but he was all business in the ring,” said Jacobs, 29. “I feel like he had been knocking on the door for a while. He was very good the week before in Thunderbird and was double clear on the [Major League Show Jumping] team. I made a few mistakes in the grand prix, and he had two down, but overall, he was very good.”

Charlotte Jacobs and Rincoola Milsean topped the CSI4* Odlum Brown 1.50-meter Grand Prix on June 2 at Thunderbird Show Park (British Columbia). Kim Gaudry/tbird Photo

“Going into the second week I really wanted to win, and I always know that horse is capable of winning,” she continued. “In the Welcome [Stakes] I went very fast, which usually if you go very fast with him, he’s hard to beat. He ended up second. That made me even more hungry for the win on Sunday. I was really happy. I had Conor Swail and Nayel going after me, and I was sort of worried about them, but I tried to ride how I know to ride him, and he was great, so it all worked out.”

Watch their winning jump-off round here, courtesy of Tbird TV:

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“This is definitely the biggest win I’ve had in my career so far,” Jacobs told the press after the class. “I’m over the moon.”

Jacobs bought Roy three years ago from Jason Higgins in Ireland as an 8-year-old. The Irish Sport Horse gelding (Aldatus Z—Rincoola Abu, Cruising) had jumped up to 1.50-meters and contested his first CSI2* classes at the time. Around the same time, she started training with Irish Olympian Greg Broderick.

At just 15.2 hands, Roy is diminutive on the ground, but he has no problem with the big jumps.

“I was really surprised when I first saw him, because even for a small horse he was still very, very small! He’s smaller than small,” Jacobs said. “When I’d seen him jump live, he didn’t look that petite. When you’re on him, he honestly doesn’t feel small. He has so much energy and such a big engine that he really takes you, and he’s uphill, so you never really feel like the size is an issue.”

Jacobs described her trial ride as the best she’s had on a horse. She and Roy clicked immediately. He was a light ride who didn’t require a lot of leg and was soft in the mouth.

“When I got him, I didn’t really ever imagine that he would jump 1.60 [meters],” she said. “I was hopeful, but I wasn’t sure if it was in the cards. We started moving from strength to strength. When we got to Florida that year, he won a few high amateur classics and was placed in some two-star grand prix [classes], and then we won our first grand prix together at the end of his 9-year-old year in Aiken [South Carolina], and from there he kept going up and up. He keeps exceeding all expectations.”

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Charlotte Jacobs credits groom Paulo Moreira for bringing out the best in Roy, who has an abundance of energy and a quirky personality. Photo Courtesy Of Four Oaks Creative

Roy jumped his first five-star grand prix last year at Thunderbird and has since picked up some wins at top placings at the four- and five-star level. 

“As quirky as he is, I sort of find him the easiest to ride, because I know him so well at this point. He is a little bit strange, and he’s very careful. You just have to know how to manage him, and I think we’ve started to figure that out now,” Jacobs said. “He’s not super into flatwork or any sort of typical show jumping horse’s work, but he’s really funny. My groom Paulo [Moreira] takes care of him, and they’re best buds. He does a really good job with him because he can be a little bit tricky. He can be a bit spooky, doesn’t like going in the wash stall. But he’s a great character, and he has the biggest personality in the barn, that’s for sure.”

Roy, who Charlotte Jacobs calls “the biggest personality in the barn,” knows how to express his great love of being turned out. Photo Courtesy Of Charlotte Jacobs

While she’s usually based in Wellington, Florida, in the winters and at her family’s East Aurora, New York, farm in the summers, Jacobs spent three recent summers training in Ireland with Broderick to expand her knowledge. 

She also met her husband of one year, Irishman Matt Calderwood, through horses. He’d worked for Broderick until 2018 before taking some time off. Now he helps Jacobs with her training and manages and rides her horses at home.

Jacobs’ husband, Matt Calderwood, is another important member of Roy’s team. Photo Courtesy Of Four Oaks Creative

“I had a lot of young horses at the time, and I wanted to go to a program that specialized in developing young horses,” said Jacobs. “My now-husband had done a lot of work with Greg, so I started working with him in Florida in 2020. Covid hit, and my husband was going back to Ireland with Greg, so I sent a few horses over, and we just really hit it off.”

Broderick’s own young-horse resume includes developing MHS Going Global from age 5 to the Olympics, competing in the 2016 Rio de Janeiro Games.

“He’s really taught me how to develop horses properly,” Jacobs said. “In America I was always taught how to win and be competitive, but I never really took the time to develop a horse or work towards certain horse shows. Greg and Matt really taught me the importance of that.”

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