In fairy tales, a fairy godmother is a magical figure who often appears at the darkest hour to grant the protagonist’s fondest wish.
In this show jumping story, it’s Ann Thompson. But instead of sprinkling fairy dust to make her young charges’ dreams come true, she’s sprinkling FEI horses around.
This week Thompson announced that she was bringing three U25 riders under the wing of Everlong LLC—Lillie Keenan (USA), Brian Moggre (USA) and Harry Charles (GBR)—and onto the backs of her string of top international horses.
“I am looking forward to this next chapter in my support of show jumping not only in the USA but also globally,” Thompson said.
“The care and well-being of my horses is my top priority, and I feel that with this new Everlong, LLC team of talented young athletes, my horses are appropriately placed and will thrive in their new endeavors.”
Those new endeavors suggest she’s building Gen Next of show jumping.
Twenty-one year old Charles has two new mounts from Everlong. The Global Champions League Berlin Eagles team member will add seasoned veteran Romeo 88 and upcoming mount Gelano to his string. Romeo 88 is an 11-year-old Zangersheide stallion previously campaigned at the 5* level by Ireland’s Darragh Kenny. Gelano is a nine-year-old bay piloted by fellow U25 rider Sam Walker (CAN) this summer in Europe.
“My father [Peter Charles] and I have always been a stable that sells a lot of horses, so to have someone like Ann support us and provide me with horses with no pressure to sell and only focus on the development of each horse and the spirit of the sport, it is a unique and big thing for me,” said Charles.
“These horses, especially a horse like Romeo 88, will fit at the front of my string, then next year we are aiming for the Olympic Games and the European Championships.”
Twenty-four year-old Keenan will be in the irons of Thompson’s youngest mount, Delta de la Rasse.
“This was something that just came together and I can’t thank Ann Thompson enough for believing in me, believing in my program and taking this chance to support my career,” said Keenan.
Delta de la Rasse is an up-and-coming seven-year-old Sell Français gelding, previously campaigned in Europe by Donald Whitaker (GBR) and Kenny. The horse has now relocated to Keenan’s fam in Wellington, FL.
“From the day Delta arrived he gave you that feeling of a horse that wanted to please, and that quality is at the top of the list for me when I am scouting horses. There are horses that enjoy work, that give you that feeling that they want to work with you and not against you, and that is something I truly believe you cannot teach. I am really grateful he is younger because the sooner you get a horse the earlier you can develop that partnership, and that is more time you have for them to learn the rider and obviously for you to learn the horse.”
Thompson’s most seasoned mount, Balou du Reventon, will go to 19-year-old Moggre. The 14-year-old Oldenburg stallion won team gold for Ireland at the Nations Cup Final in 2019 with Kenny.
Moggre said, “The biggest thing is for me to represent Ann Thompson’s horses well and [Balou Du Reventon] really is a superstar, so my main goal is to show everybody that Balou is very special to Ann, and it has been a lot of fun getting to know him. Riding him for the first time was a bit surreal as he is definitely not a horse I thought I would ever get the opportunity to ride! There is no telling what the extent of this horse’s career is!”
Nor is there of the three young riders Thompson handpicked for her string. Look forward to seeing the next chapter in this story unfold in 2021.