Ocala, FL – This week’s Ocala Sunday Spotlight shines on Charlie Jones, a partner at Stone Ridge Sport Horses with Bretton Chad. Together, the pair own a thriving training and sales business located in Calgary, Canada. This is Jones second week at World Equestrian Center – Ocala and he has already become a fan-favorite, particularly with a standout horse who he calls, ‘Speedy Pete.’ We caught up with Jones to delve into his background and learn more about the horses that he brought with him to show.
WEC: Could you share a bit about yourself?
My girlfriend, Bretton Chad, and I are based in Calgary, Canada. We started our business, Stone Ridge Sport Horses, about a year and a half ago. It’s still relatively new, but thriving. I grew up in England, near Birmingham, where I did most of my riding. Both of my parents are professionals; so it runs in the family. I did ride a bit when I was younger, but after falling off a few times and not enjoying it, I took a seven-year break.
When I was 12, I got back into it, and I’ve been riding ever since. I got really into the sport when I was 16, and that’s when I knew that I was going to do this for the rest of my life.
WEC: Tell us about Stone Ridge Sport Horses.
During the spring and summer months, we base our business out of Bretton’s family owned facility, Stone Ridge Farms, near Spruce Meadows. During the winter, we travel to warmer climates!
We offer a boutique training program for a select group of clients. Bretton and I enjoy taking our time and really going deep into the training and management of each horse and rider.
We are also lucky enough to be competing with a fantastic group of horses, some of which are for sale.
WEC: Can you introduce us to some of the horses you’re currently riding?
One of my current favorites is Capitale 6. He’s truly special! Karrie Rufer from California owns him. She calls him ‘Perfect Pete’ and I call him ‘Speedy Pete’. He has a lot of nicknames because he’s such a character. He’s so genuine, whatever you ask him to do, he will try for you.
It’s quite a funny story how I started riding him. We were competing at Thunderbird Showpark in August and Karrie and her team were also there. She was having trouble with her eyesight, so she wasn’t able to show that week. Her and I were at the bar, and on a whim, I said I would love to ride Pete. I actually ended up riding two of hers at that show. Pete and I jumped one 1.30m, and then asked if I could jog him for FEI the next week. He hadn’t done any international classes in awhile, but Karrie was game! Pete jumped incredibly and had one down in the ranking class the first day, and then was second in the 1.50m later that week.
After that, I tried to buy him! But she didn’t want to let him go. Luckily, she suggested that we sort something out where I could keep riding him. That’s basically what we did. I am very grateful, it’s been amazing. She’s pregnant now, so we joke that Pete will be her kid’s first horse!
We also have an exciting new one, Macho-Blue PS. He is owed by Katie Harris in California. She just had a baby, so I am basically riding the pregnancy crews’ horses! Katie sent Macho here with me to sell if we get the chance. I like to call him ‘Mighty Macho’. He’s huge, around 18hh, but he’s so light across the ground and can be pretty fast for a big guy. I think there’s a lot to come from him this circuit.
There is also another favorite of mine that we are bringing back up, Montserrat OS, who we call Monty. I think Monty will definitely be a crowd favorite. He’s tiny, jet black with an incredible jump. Bretton and I co-own him with an amazing woman from Calgary, who’s planning on visiting us here soon which is really exciting!
We brought six horses here total, and it’s already been a great experience for all of them.
WEC: How has your overall experience been at WEC?
Last week was our first week, and now we are into our second. It’s an unbelievable facility! The footing everywhere is incredible, there is not one place where there is bad footing. The stables are amazing, the flooring is great for the horses, the in-stall fans, the space you have, the track rooms, it’s all extraordinary. It just works well for horses here, they are all very comfortable.
We will be here until the middle of March, and I plan to show in most of the FEI competitions while we are here. My team loves it here, and I am so grateful to have such an amazing group behind us. I also have to thank all of the incredible owners, without them, I wouldn’t be able to do what I love.
Thank you, Charlie for taking the time to chat with us! We can’t wait to be cheering you, ‘Speedy Pete’ and ‘Mighty Macho’ in the Grand Prix!