A rescue horse is on her way to Aintree for the ACE (Anyone Can Event) Championships at Aintree in June.

Cherry is a 10-year-old 14.2hh mare who was rescued four years ago from “a very uncertain future” by Leicester Riding Club member Nicky Chechlacz. Nicky said she carefully managed Cherry back to good health and they have been enjoying various activities together since.

Last year, 11-year-old Ruby, daughter of Nick’s friend Catherine Hicks (Cat), started to ride Cherry as her own pony was having some time off due to an injury.

For the past 12 months, Ruby and Cherry have been successfully enjoying Pony Club activities at regional level, but when British Eventing launched ACE (Anyone Can Event) in Autumn 2022, Ruby set herself and Cherry the goal of gaining a qualification to the 2023 ACE Championships at Aintree.

Earlier this month, Ruby and Cherry went to Newbold Verdon Equestrian Centre to compete in the Harry Hall ACE Series 80cm class. The pair secured a clear, first place and Ruby’s aim of qualification to the championships in June.

Just after her win, Ruby share her excitement at securing her place at the finals with Cherry.

“What a great opportunity for us,” she said. “We love Eventing and have been chasing the qualifiers over the winter. It is a great feeling to win and qualify. I am 12 next month, so this is a great start to our BE journey.”

The Harry Hall ACE Championships will be held at Aintree International Equestrian Centre on 1-4 June, 2023. Split into Seniors and Juniors, with stable plaques for all competitors, there are rosettes, sashes and prizes to be won.

“She doesn’t take anything for granted, especially winning, but Ruby is so excited to be going to Aintree and to ride at the championships,” Cat added. “It’s a brilliant initiative that British Eventing has created with the ACE series, encouraging grassroots riders to go out and compete.

“There’s the chance to qualify for the championships at Aintree International, which is a spectacular venue. Huge thanks to Harry Hall for sponsoring not only the series, but also the championships – we cannot wait to compete there in June.”

Liz Hopper CEO of Harry Hall said the company was delighted to be supporting the ACE series and championships with BE, as well as to be supporting the UK’s equestrian venues.

“We’ve been helping horse owners for over 130 years and are delighted to encourage today’s riders to go Eventing with the Harry Hall One Club ACE Championships,” she said. “We’re really looking forward to Aintree in June where we’ll be celebrating everyone’s achievements”.

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