The next member of team USA that we will be spotlighting is seventeen-year-old Charley Thiel of Dublin, Ohio. Charley has been riding for 11 years and has shown on the AQHA circuit for nine years. Charley shows in the hunter under saddle under the guidance of Beckey Schooler and she also competes in the reining. When not showing her horses, Charley enjoys singing, playing guitar, cooking out and fishing. She adds that “nothing tops a late night at the barn sitting around a campfire.”
How old are you?
I am 17 years old.
Where do you live?
I live in Dublin, Ohio with my mom, Cyndi, dad, Tiger, and two sisters, Mackenzie and Madison.
What school do you attend and what grade are you in?
I go to Dublin Coffman High School and I will be a senior this fall.
What are your plans for next year?
I will graduate next spring in hopes to go to college in the fall on a NCAA Division 1 Equestrian Scholarship.
Have you traveled to Europe before? If so, when, where and why?
I wish I could say different, but I have never been outside of the United States.
What are your equine accomplishments?
I was the 2011 AQHYA World Champion in Hunter Under Saddle. I am a two-time Congress Champion in Hunter Under Saddle as well as an NSBA Reserve World Champion in Hunter Under Saddle. I have also been Reserve Congress Champion in Showmanship; along with multiple other top ten placings and high points. In 2011, I was the Interscholastic Equestrian Association High point rider.
Why do you think you got chosen for the youth world cup team?
I believe I was chosen to be on the Youth World Cup team, not only for my accomplishments in the show pen, but as well as my accomplishments in my school and my community. I like to think I was chosen because of my dedication, will to win, and ability to lead.
What are you most looking forward to during the YWC?
I am most looking forward to meeting new people and experiencing new things. I am a little nervous about not being able to find my way around or order a meal, seeing as I don’t know any German, but I am thrilled to see and do things I have never done before. I am also excited to hang out with the nine most amazing equestrians on Team USA.
What are you least looking forward to during the YWC?
I am least looking forward to leaving Germany. I know by that time I will have made so new many friends and fond memories I won’t want to come home!
What were your feelings when you found out you made the YWC team?
My initial feeling when I found out I made team USA was disbelief. I almost thought someone was playing a joke on me. I felt so flattered and honored to be chosen to represent the United States, and to be in a group along with so many people I have looked up to in the past. I am thankful and blessed.
If you were to create a playlist for your trip to Germany, what would your top three song choices be?
The three most played songs playing on my iPod, I’m sure, will be: What country is by Luke Bryan, That’s what I love about Sunday by Craig Morgan, and Sweet Southern Comfort by Buddy Jewell.
If you could ride any horse alive or dead, what horse would it be?
If I could ride any horse, undoubtedly, it would be, Coats and Tails. Showing one of his offspring has been one of the most exhilarating and rewarding experiences of my life. His presence in the show pen and his big, beautiful stride are just some of the reasons why I would love to ride this outstanding stallion.
Tell me one thing about yourself that most people don't know?
I live in a suburb just outside of Columbus and I have a cow that lives in my garage. If you’re asking yourself, “Isn’t there a law against that?” The answer is yes. That could be why most people don’t know.
What is a unique or quirky habit you have?
I am very superstitious. Just one example may be, if I do well in a certain pair of spurs, not only will I make a point to wear those spurs again but I will tighten them to the exact notch they were on at that time. It is almost like a job to keep up with all of my crazy superstitions.
If you had to chose one word to describe yourself, what would it be and why?
If I had to describe myself in one word it would be: dedicated. If I put my mind to something I do everything in my power to fulfill that dream. I work day in and day out to make it a reality. I believe hard work, perseverance, and faith are all in the recipe for success.
If you had to choose your career right this minute, what would you choose?
I want to be a Youth Minister and Missionary. I would love to be able to share by love for God with others by traveling abroad and through the use of horses.
Who is your role model in the horse world and what is it about this person that makes you choose them?
My role model in the horse world is Candy Parrish. Her hard work, professionalism, and knowledge of the horse is second to none. She has every aspect of what someone in this industry should strive for. She is an outstanding horseman and showman; never letting the stress of the show pen stand in her way. She excels on different horses while staying calm and collected.