Charlotte Phillips and CP Dresden go back just over two years to when Charlotte was 18. Alycia Targa had brought Dresden up through the ranks for owners Jane and Maurie Bruce, but decided after eight years it was time to concentrate on her own horses. Not everyone was suited to the eager Warmblood gelding, but Alycia and Jane had noticed an up-and-coming local young rider who “clicked with Des from the first ride”. That rider was Charlotte Phillips and she and Des have never looked back.
“Dresden is the star here, he truly is,” Charlotte graciously declares fresh from their 74.275% win in the CDI-W Grand Prix freestyle at Willinga Park’s Dressage by the Sea – a win that gives them an invitation to the FEI World Cup Final in Omaha, Nebraska, next month. “His absolutely amazing work ethic and trainability is beyond imagination,” says Charlotte. “Words cannot explain his willingness and enjoyment in work… I know that sounds corny, but he truly gives his all, and when he feels pressure at a competition, when his blood gets up, he simply trusts me as I do him and away we go! It’s fun! Simply fun, and the freestyle we produced to win was the funnest!
“That was a high. A real high, and what an international grown-up horse he has become. I am so grateful to be the one that was in the right spot at the right time.”
The story of CP Dresden – before and after teaming with Charlotte – will seriously inspire everyone’s hopes and aspirations. This little, unassuming bay gelding, with the work ethic and the demeanour of an unassuming champion, will warm the hearts of every horse owner. His attitude and will to please is something special.
Under expert eyes, and empathy for him and his consistent work, this honest willing horse made his way slowly and steadily to far surpass his owners’ expectations. He believed in himself. He offers all his energy, mentally and physically, and tries every day to be the best he can be. To see him in training is a treat. Des thinks that every day must be power-packed and full-on. His willingness could easily be misread as being tense and hot and wild, but all he wants to do is to help. What a great attribute and to be recognised and kept in perspective. Jane Bruce has again found a horse to represent us at a World Cup Final, this time at Omaha, Nebraska.