It is brilliant to be down at the British Showjumping National Championships & Stoneleigh Horse Show this week. It is a great event with so much top class showjumping – even when it is a little drizzly there is a great buzz around the place.
When I arrived at the event yesterday the first class that I got to watch was the Blue Chip Pony Newcomer Masters, and what an event to get myself right into the spirit of the British Showjumping National Championships! The class was won by Nicole Lockhead Anderson on her lovely pony Gangnam Style 11 – what a cool name. She was unstoppable and it was lovely to see that Gangnam Style was full of personality and character. Nicole travelled down to the event with eight horses to ride over the course of the Championships – it will be a busy event for her. It was great to speak to Nicole about her excitement for qualifying for HOYS again this year.
Today I was watching the Squibb Group Pony Foxhunter Masters and I am constantly still in awe at the skill of the riders and their ponies. Nicole once again made it through to the jump off of this HOYS qualifier with Gangnam Style but also qualified with Tiernisks Craving Clover – who she had only been riding for a week. While Gangnam style knocked one fence down, Craving Clover sped round the course and in a tense jump-off managed to take the title, another win for Nicole and testament to her incredible skill.
I was lucky enough to watch and meet the Stepping Stones 128cm Championships winner – Lola Ellis on Elvis Presley and the Stepping Stones 138cm Championships winner – Ella Hall on Calusa. I am in awe at the feats and the bravery with which these young competitors and their ponies attack the imposing showjumping course.
I spoke with Laila Caroline who won the Pony Silver League 128cm Final, she wanted to thank her mum, dad and coach for all their help and support. It is a huge team effort for riders to be able to compete at this level. She was so nervous before entering the arena however, just kept running through what her coach had said to her and it worked.
It was great to have some time to look around the tradestands and have a look at all the different products on offer – everything looks so beautiful and what I love most about the Joshua Jones stand is it is the fact that they are clothes that you can wear with your horses but also day to day – from riding boots to handbags, they have it all. I have also been looking for a good hoof oil for a while so after speaking to the team from Kevin Bacon’s I am definitely going to give their hoof ointment a try. I am glad I brought my car down with me so I have space to take everything back to Scotland with me!
That’s all for now,
Hannah Eccles, HOYS Ambassador