Sunshine Tour Rider Spotlight: Charlie Jones

Twenty-year-old British rider Charlie Jones has spent the past six weeks enjoying the sun at the Sunshine Tour in Cadiz, Spain. The nephew of Olympic Gold Medalist Nick Skelton, Jones has been fortunate enough to train with both Skelton and Laura Kraut throughout his career. JN’s Dominique Gonzalez caught up with Charlie for a few moments to discuss how the circuit played out for him, what he learned during his time in Spain and what is up next on his agenda.

Photo by Dominique Gonzalez

Question: How many horses did you bring to Spain with you, and what are divisions have you been showing them in? 

Jones: “I brought six horses in total. Two were doing the Young Horse classes, and the other four have been doing the Medium Tour.”

Question: How has the Sunshine Tour been for you so far?

Jones: “Amazing. Absolutely one of the best venues around. The best people in the world are here competing; it’s a great place to watch them and learn. I have learned a huge amount from my own string of horses as well. One of my young horses, Jacquard, came here with no prior shows under his belt. He ended up second in the Five-Year-Old Final and really learned a lot from being here.”

Question: What is the biggest thing you’ve learned so far this circuit?

Jones: “The biggest thing has to be patience. Patience with myself and my string of horses. It’s all about steadily building up the horses I have to bring out the best in them. As well as, to establish better relationships with them.”

Photo by Dominique Gonzalez

Question: What have you enjoyed most being here?

Jones: “It has to be the feeling of knowing how much my horses have improved over the six weeks of jumping. By the end, I felt like we were a lot closer to understanding each other and how we function daily.”

Question: What has been your biggest highlight throughout the circuit?

Jones: “I recently got a new horse named Dexter, and this was our first show together. During last week [week five], we were fifth in the Cope Medium Tour Grand Prix!”

Question: Did you have to overcome any struggles during the circuit? If so, how did you learn from them?

Jones: “I did actually have one bad weekend. It just wasn’t going very well for me at all. Like I mentioned before, patience has been a major key factor this circuit.  It really thought me more patience and how to keep going no matter what. I had pretty much the same mantra as ‘just keep swimming.’”

Photo by Dominique Gonzalez

Question: What are your goals for this year and the beyond?

Jones: “I think for this year I would like to do some Young Rider Nations Cup, representing Great Britain of course. For the future, competing in high-level championships would be ideal.”

Go Jumping!