Here we chat to young show jumper Millie Lawson about her fantastic relationship with Noah’s Lady her 138cm jumping pony.
Tell us about your background in Showjumping
I am 13-years old and based in Aberdeen so it is a lot of travelling to competitions. I started riding when I was five-years-old, and first went to Pony Club when I was eight.
My first foray into show jumping really started at the age of 10 and things hit the ground running and qualified for the Royal Highland Show 128cm Championship in my first season with my pony Dakota.
When I was 11-years-old, we found a pony called Priestwood Hardy who had been turned out in a field for seven years and had no British Showjumping points – within 10 months we had jumped at HOYS, won the 128cm Grand Prix at the English Home Pony International and then we won at the London Olympia International Horse Show!
How did you come to start riding Nora?
My parents bought Nora, known as Noah’s Lady when competing in August 2019, to give me a head start before I came off my 128cm ponies at the end of that season.
It was a rocky start, but once we developed an understanding of each other we were off! We qualified for Hickstead in 2020 and were fourth in the Winter 138cm Final, and also jumped at Aintree in the British Showjumping Championships that replaced HOYS that year.
Tell us about her character
Nora is a 14-year-old 138cm mare that came from Ireland as a three-year-old. She was originally purchased by Holly Smith for her sister Phoebe, then went to Alex Gill who produced her and jumped her at HOYS in the Newcomers final. She then went to Abbie Letham in Scotland for four years before we bought her.
What makes your relationship special?
I think we just ADORE each other, and Nora would do anything to help me out when I am in the ring. She is always looking for me on the yard.
What is Nora’s weekly routine?
When we are not away at shows, Nora spends plenty of time in the field with her best pal Toy Story (Toy). She hardly jumps at home, but we’ll often hire a course somewhere if we have a weekend off from shows. I ride her about four times a week and keep the work varied to keep her fresh, relaxed and fit.
What do you feed her?
We are very lucky to be supported by TopSpec and Nora’s feed regime consists of TopSpec Performance Lite Balancer, TopChop Grass and TopSpec 10:10 Joint Support. Nora LIVES for food and is a good-doer, she looks in great condition and as she is 14-years-old the 10:10 Joint Support helps maintenance of healthy joints.
What are your major wins together?
In the last year or so, we have been fourth at Hickstead, third in the Pony of the Year Show Grand Prix, and second in the English Home Pony International 138cm Grand Prix – we’re still waiting for the first BIG win!
What are your plans for the season?
We plan to compete at HOYS, have qualified for the Royal International Horse Show, attempt to win a Grand Prix and finish the season at the Liverpool International in December. HOYS is an 850 mile round trip and Hickstead is a 1200 mile round trip – but always worth it if we go well!