History was made as Saturday’s showjumping action got under way in front of a capacity crowd at the Horse of the Year Show in Birmingham.
It belonged to 12-year-old Cate Kerr, who won the 128cm Championship with Dunbarover IV.
Although Sienna Charles won the class in 2013 and 2014, Newmarket-based Cate became the first rider to land it in successive years on the same pony.
Four combinations progressed to the jump-off from 18 starters, and a high bar was set when Colchester rider Hollie Gerken and Black Jack II clocked 35.18 seconds.
But Cate, who was next into the Andrews Bowen International Arena, clipped 71 hundredths of a second off Hollie’s time, with third place going to Wiltshire’s Emily Irvine and Bunbury Conquest.
“It is very special to win it again,” Cate said. “I know that Hollie’s pony is really quick, and it was just about keeping going.
“Sometimes, my pony gets quite strong, but he felt very relaxed today. I really enjoyed it.”
A highly-competitive 138cm Championship went the way of Oxfordshire’s Tilly Bamford, whose grandfather is the industrialist Lord Bamford.
Family members were out in force at Resorts World, NEC as 12-year-old Tilly took top spot on the grey mare, Dizzy Rascal.
The pony was a birthday present last year, and they showcased what an impressive partnership they have rapidly become.
Their time of 33.32 seconds denied Tabitha Kyle a hat-trick of victories in the 138cm competition, with Tabitha, who had three ponies in the jump-off, finishing second on Another Barney and Lara Bowman finishing third aboard Mr Jack Sparrow.
“It feels amazing,” Tilly said. “I have only had the pony for just over a year, and she has been great.
“I got a bit close in a few places in the jump-off, but she helped me out so much and really tried her best.
“I was a bit nervous, but I think they were good nerves. When I was in there and everyone went quiet, I forgot the crowd was even there.”
* Audio interview with 128cm Championship winner Cate Kerr
* Audio interview with 138cm Championship winner Tilly Bamford
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