January-February 2018

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C H R O N O F H O R S E . C O M JA N UA R Y/ F E B R UA R Y 2 018 4 9 K A T H RY N BU R K E P H OT O GR A P H Y P HO TO M aking her way into the arena at the 1992 Olympic Games in Barcelona, Spain, Charlotte Bredahl noted the cheering crowds and felt her Danish Warmblood, Monsieur, tense beneath her and stop. As the bell jingled, Bredahl repeatedly attempted to move the 11-year-old gelding forward to no avail. Would this be a repeat of the selection trials months earlier in Florida, when they essentially performed their entire test in half the arena after the chestnut was spooked by children letting out from a nearby school? at episode relegated them to 11 th place out of 12 competitors, forcing the duo to battle back to secure an Olympic berth. en—in what I will learn to be her typical optimistic, undeterred approach to challenges—Bredahl figured out a solution. Taking a deep breath, she backed Monsieur down the entire length of the long side, back past the judges and pointed him at the centerline. "I could always back him up, and once he was in the arena he felt safe, and as soon as I got him in, he was great. He was quirky, Whether winning a team bronze medal in dressage at the 1992 Olympic Games, acting as USEF assistant youth coach, judging top competitions or raising her foster children, Charlotte Bredahl meets each challenge with grace and gusto. By J EN N IF ER B. CA LDER e Happi Horsewoman really quirky," she says with a laugh. e horse, who would help her earn a team bronze medal that year, remained with her until his death at 34 in 2015. For Bredahl, the ability to find alternate paths to life's challenges, to persevere and to do it joyfully, colors every facet of her life— from competing at the elite levels of dressage and coaching young riders to judging at the international level. It permeated her life at home too, with Bredahl first raising two foster children and now acting as a mentor to local children in need. "I try, as much as possible, I try to always stay on the positive side of things," she says. "I just love what I do. I'm very lucky." A Horse-Obsessed Sheriff's Daughter Even Bredahl's voice sounds sunny as it crackles through the intercom to open the gate to her magnificent Circle JB Polo Ranch, a 50-acre farm she shares with her financial advisor, polo-playing and former downhill U.S. team skier husband, Joel Baker. As my

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