There was an array of show jumping talent as young riders took to the arena for British Showjumping.
There was a phenomenal display of talent in the HOYS qualifier, Squibb Group Pony Foxhunter Masters, where Oliver Fletcher took his second win aboard The Bobster. Oliver was one of eight riders through to the jump-off, where he tackled the technical course with great skill. “It was a tricky course and was really up to height, but I can trust Bobster to jump clear,” says Oliver. In second place was Anouk Mauree (Westerveld Flroijn) and in third was Serena Kullich (Kilcurry Dawn).
In the National 148cm Championship, where the first and second place qualify for HOYS, it was Drew Walton riding Tequila Twist who rose to the occasion winning the class with Sophie Bowen Howard (Quincy V) taking second. Drew who’s fifteen-years-old from Lancashire has been to Horse of the Year Show every year since she was seven, showing her skill in the sport of show jumping.
Winner of the National 138cm Championship Final, sponsored by Waddesdon Stud, was Emilia Mitchell from Essex riding Shaman Sundance. Her clever riding of the back turn to the second to last fence helped her win in a time of 32.16. “In the first round I felt as though I was holding him back too much so in the jump off I just let him go and we really went for it,” says Emilia. In second place was Madison Heath (Sonas Barney) and third was Tahnia Jordan-Jones (Oakhurst in the Spotlight).
Tom Francis-Jones aboard Major Jack stole the show in the National 128cm Championship Final with the only clear from a class of 30 competitors. The testing course was all about rider technique and not speed in the jump-off. Claudia Moore (Peppino II Grande) took second followed by Rosie Collins (Bradmore Mystique) in third.
For thirteen-year-old Elloise Smit the trip from Kent to the show was well worth it, as she took the Pony Restricted 1.10m Championship Final. Riding her Irish Sport Horse, Newton Samson, Elloise was the only one of two clear rounds in the jump-off. “It’s such an amazing feeling to have won, I’m so excited! This time last year we were only doing 70cm,” says Elloise. Runners up in the class were Serena Kullich (Kilcurry Dawn) and Sophie Lewns (Rutland Red Alert) second and third respectively.
Aboard Rocky Robin I, Jessica Howard took the spoils ahead of 81 other combinations in the Haygain Pony Discovery Championship as she took some tight turns to beat the rest of the field. “I just knew I had to risk it all if I wanted to make the time, there was no other way, we just had to go for it!” says Jessica from Cambridgeshire. In second place was Mia Gill (Sunset Saphire) and coming in third was Alexandria Hands (Sliabh Lan John Joe).