October 08, 2014 at 6:33 PM


North Yorkshire rider Alex Gill became only the second showjumper in Horse of the Year Show history to successfully defend the prestigious Blue Chip Pony Newcomers Championship title at Birmingham's LG Arena.

Alex, who is from Northallerton, triumphed last year with Wildwood Silver, and he came up trumps again this time around, guiding Kingstown Rebel to a comfortable victory and emulating Matthew Sampson's feat of successive victories in 2005 and 2006.

Alex, 16, qualified three horses among a 12-horse jump-off, but former eventer Kingstown Rebel set a standard no other combination could match, clocking 39.82 seconds to leave Faye Adams (Rainbows Mocha) in second place and Abbie Bevan (Eclips VI) third from an original field of 25.

"It is a very good start to the week for me. We will take that," said Alex, who was part of the Great Britain squad at this year's Pony European Jumping Championships.

"He is a really quick pony. He has always been banging on the door for a win like that, and once we found the turns in the course, we were really confident. It just came off, really.

"He only started jumping in January this year. He is a clear round machine - he is something else.

"He is really nervous and spooky, he's his own character. But on the big occasions, he just pulls it out of the bag."

Audio link to winner of Canaan Farm Young Riders Championships of Great Britain on Avoca Valkyrie:


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