A surprise ride turns into a surprise win for Louise Simpson in the Senior Newcomers Championship

A surprise ride turns into a surprise win for Louise Simpson in the Senior Newcomers Championship

The fiercely contested Senior Newcomers Championship has a new champion for 2023 at Horse of the Year Show, the NEC Birmingham. With eight combinations jumping clear and making their way through to the jump off, the riders queued up in an attempt to add their name to the history books.

Louise Simpson was fourth to go in the jump off riding six-year-old bay gelding, Cornet of Follyfoot, owned by Sally Jobson-Scott who was sat in the audience. Having only ridden the horse twice before, Louise had taken on the ride at HOYS for her sister, Nicole Pavitt, who recently sustained an injury in a riding accident.

The fresh combination didn’t let their unfamiliarity deter them though, fighting off tough competition from the likes of Jack Whitaker and Emily Ward. The exciting young horse showed talent beyond his years and made their lightning quick round look effortless, finishing in an unbeatable time of 31.43 seconds.

Stepping in for her injured sister at the last minute didn’t work out too badly after all for Louise. She said: “He’s definitely an exciting young horse. He doesn’t feel six, he feels like an absolute pro. I jumped him once at Arena UK the other week and then rode him again on Monday, but he jumped great in there today.

“What’s amazing about him is his brain. The atmosphere doesn’t faze him, and he doesn’t ride like a young horse at all. I couldn’t have been on a better horse for this class. He just felt like a winner the whole way through.”

Louise concludes: “Nicole had her surgery today, so she’ll be sad she’s watching at home and not here riding, but she’ll be delighted to hear the news. He’s going to have a well-deserved holiday now while Nicole recovers, and they can come back together next season.”

Link to audio interview: https://www.lloydbell.co.uk/access2/index.php?d=1477&b=32802

Chantelle Duggan crowned the Events Through A Lens Talent Seekers Champion

Onto the final class for the opening day of Horse of the Year Show and course builder Ben Townley set a tough 1.40m course for the Events Through A Lens Talent Seekers inc. 7 year old Championship.

With only three riders jumping clear out of a field of 30, there was no room for error in the jump off. The first combination forward was Chloe Winchester riding her nine-year-old bay gelding, Jupiter who jumped clear in a time of 36.18 seconds. A quick round, but not quick enough.

Leo Lamb was second in, riding Carron Nicol’s seven-year-old grey gelding, Gmail. Bucking with excitement, the young gelding put in an impressive round and flew down to the last fence to finish clear in a time of 34.65 seconds.

This incredible combination had an astounding trip to Wales and West at the David Broome Event Centre in May where they picked up three HOYS tickets for the national showjumping finals in just three days, despite having broken ribs from a fall just days before. With this being his first class of the week, 22-year-old Leo from Stratford-on-Avon is making the most of his first ever time competing at HOYS.

Saving the best ‘til last in the jump off, and it was the turn of Chantelle Duggan aboard Linton De La Chapelle to take to the arena. As she rode to the final fence, the crowd were cheering her on and willing her to win. Watching the clock stop on 32.68 seconds, there were cheers all round as Chantelle was announced as the Events Through A Lens Talent Seekers 2023 Champion.

Travelling from Wetherby, North Yorkshire, Chantelle has had the 10-year-old bay gelding since a just broken four-year-old. As someone who just rides as a hobby, Chantelle definitely proved that she was worthy of the win tonight.

She said: “It’s totally different to win in front of a crowd when all your friends and family are in it. I have a great support team and it felt so special to win in front of them all today. It was a big course and I just hoped he behaved and didn’t buck me off!

“He really comes into his own in the jump off, the faster he goes the better he is. So, it worked in my favour that I was at the end. I ride as a hobby around my full-time job. I go to shows on my own most of the time, and if we win we win, but if we don’t we have a great time still. To win at HOYS is just the pinnacle, he’s a horse of a lifetime and I’ll never sell him.”

Leo Lamb lucks out in the Seven year old Championship

For Leo Lamb, despite having to settle for second place in the Events Through A Lens Talent Seekers Championship, he and Gmail were awarded the seven-year-old Championship title in the class and the striking grey gelding was ear marked as one to watch for the future.

Leo said: “I am over the moon with him. It is my first time at HOYS and I know how capable he is. I feel very privileged to have a horse like him in my stables. With only three in the jump off it’s always difficult but I have the Foxhunter final with him tomorrow, so I am saving him for that. He is an absolute superstar with so much talent. I am so excited for next season with him, I will never find another horse like him.”

Chantelle audio interview: https://www.lloydbell.co.uk/access2/index.php?d=1477&b=32803

Leo audio interview: https://www.lloydbell.co.uk/access2/index.php?d=1477&b=32804

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