October 08, 2014 at 6:54 PM


Warwickshire rider Julia Helm made history at Horse of the Year Show (HOYS) on Wednesday by winning British Showjumping's inaugural Bronze League Championship.

Julia, from Shrewley Common, triumphed with her home-bred bay mare Helms Tolu, winning a seven horse jump-off by more than two seconds after setting a scorching pace.

The Bronze League finalists qualified for HOYS via local leagues that were launched in April this year, followed by northern and southern semi-finals, with 13 combinations from Hertfordshire to Humberside lining up to contest the Janet Bennett Perpetual Trophy.

Seven riders progressed to the jump-off in the Andrews Bowen International Arena at Birmingham's LG Arena, and Julia's time of 41.74 seconds with 15-year-old Helms Tolu secured victory from Cambridgeshire rider Luke Humphrey and Cleveland's Lauren Sisson.

Julia, 35, said: "I was first to go in the jump-off, and although I know my horse is naturally quick, there were a lot of quick horses in there.

"I did all the turns, and I knew if I didn't make a mistake and she jumped clear, then I stood a good chance. It just flowed.

"It was quite a nervous wait. I couldn't watch!"

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