Charlotte Bredahl has announced her retirement as an FEI and USEF dressage judge. The 63-year old Danish born American wants to focus fully on her job as USEF Development Coach, a position she was appointed to in 2018.
"It is with very mixed feelings that I officially announce that I have decided to give up my USEF and my FEI judges licenses this year," said Bredahl. "This decision is not related to last year’s health crisis, but one I have made after a very long deliberation. In 2018 I was appointed USEF Development Coach and that job is my number one priority. It doesn’t leave much time for travel and it is hard to avoid conflicts. In addition to riding, I have always had a passion for coaching, so I am very fortunate to get do what I love."
Bredahl's competition career began in 1980 and she has competed 42 horses in the U.S.A. until 2017.
Her career highlights include two U.S. team bronze medals. She was a U.S. Olympic team rider on Monsieur at the 1992 Olympics in Barcelona, Spain, where she won team bronze.
She went on to earn a Team Silver medal from the 1997 North American Championship with Lugano.
She competed 5 horses up to Grand Prix level.
In 1985 Bredahl began splitting her job between training and judging. She worked her way to an S-judge in 2000.
In 2006 she decided to pursue her FEI license. In 2008 she became a 3* judge and in 2012 she was promoted to 4* level.
In 2014 she accepted the position of U.S. Dressage Assistant Youth Coach.
"Stephen Clarke became my nr. 1 mentor and I tried to do a lot of my observing and apprenticing with him. Not only do I greatly respect and admire him as one of the best judges in the world, but also as one of the best human beings I know. I learned so much from him," said Bredahl. "Thank you to all the judges who helped me along the way and a special. Thank You to Uwe Mechlem, Mary Seefried, Wim Ernes and Christoph Hess for all your encouragement and wisdom."
In 2018 Bredahl was appointed USEF Development Coach
Retirement from Judging
In June 2020 Bredahl was operated on a brain tumour. After a long rehabilitation she has recovered very well. The health scare led to her reuniting with her ex-husband Joel Baker, who had been by Charlotte's side throughout the ordeal.
Charlotte has now decided to retire from judging.
"I will miss all our ongoing education. I have no doubt my experience as an FEI judge has made me a much better coach," she said. "I will miss my wonderful colleagues from all over the world. I will miss our great discussions where we all learned from each other. I have so many incredible memories with so many of you. We have travelled the world together and nothing bond you together more than being on a great panel of judges. Laughter was always the best medicine, when the stress level was high. Some of the trips that stand out in my mind was Tokyo, Rio De Janeiro, Lipica, (Slovenia), South Korea, Costa Rica, Saumur and Vidauban in France, Barbados, five trips to Australia including Willinga Park, Sydney and Melbourne."
She added, "I also cherish the memory of our two FEI forums at Olympia in London where we got to watch Charlotte Dujardin and Valegro set a new World record. I remember we were all in tears. Along with all the fun times came many character building experiences."
Photos © Astrid Appels
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