Lily Freeman-Atwood took the honours in the 148cm Pony Championship sponsored by The Pony Syndicate on the fourth day of the Equerry Bolesworth International Horse Show.
The 15-year-old came last but one in the order for the eleven-pony Jump-Off in the Castle Arena and posted a time of 42.44 seconds despite a few nervous moments as Valmy de Treille rubbed the Dolphin fence at nine and both elements of the double that followed. Pedita Digby and Kayleighs Star had held the lead beforehand with a clear round in a time of 46.69 seconds but had to settle for third place when the final rider, Oliver Fletcher with The Bobster broke the finish beam at 45.87 seconds.
‘My mare is naturally quick and is eager to go’ said Lily after her win. ‘This is her first year competing at this level and she has stepped up well.’
‘I knew Oliver’s pony is also very quick but was hopeful that I had done enough to win. I was competing at Wierden and Bonheiden earlier this year and it’s nice to come home to a show as nice as Bolesworth,’ said the Shrewsbury-based rider.
Saturday morning’s 128cm Grand Prix class sponsored by the Squibb Group proved to be a true family affair. Seven made it through to the fast-paced deciding round which brought the Bolesworth Arena alive. Oliver Fry and Colliyers Pal Joey set the target of a clear round in 44.53 seconds before Aimee Jones managed to knock four seconds off to take over the lead with Koda on 40.48 seconds.
The Squibb name has become synonymous with top level pony showjumping and Eloise Squibb lived up to her reputation when stopping the clock at 36.66 seconds to move up to the top of the leaderboard with Wyndham Tom Thumb. Aiming to overtake her sister, Tia Squibb was next in with Gorm and Ban but despite plenty of vocal encouragement from her supporters, the Essex Hunt North Pony Club member had to settle for second place, stopping the clock at 37.56 seconds. Noora Von Bulow was the only rider to have two ponies in the Jump-Off and last in to the arena with Peppino Il Grande, she slotted in to third place in the final standings.
‘In the Jump-Off I knew I just had to really go for it and just do my turns and go as fast as I could,’ said Eloise, speaking after her win.
‘I really wanted to beat Eloise because she kept saying she was going to beat me beforehand!’ said Tia.
‘Bolesworth is an incredible show and the lap of honour was just amazing’ said Eloise.