Katie Bradburne lifts her first HOYS title in the Blue Chip Pony Newcomers Championship

Katie Bradburne lifts her first HOYS title in the Blue Chip Pony Newcomers Championship

Dreams became reality for Katie Bradburne on day two at Horse of the Year Show as she added her name to the illustrious list of past winners for the Blue Chip Pony Newcomers Championship. One of those names includes her brother, Thomas Bradburne, who won the title in 2021 aged 14.

With the first two riders in the jump off picking up four faults, it was neck and neck between Katie riding Shovern Inca and rival Hollie Gerken who had two horses through to the second round of the class.

Being brave with her turns, Katie proved that she meant business. Accelerating down the long side she flew over the last fence with ease, finishing on 30.33 seconds. Hollie was last in with her second ride, Ballycarrow Mirahs Sparrow. Despite all her efforts though it just wasn’t quick enough, and she finished on 30.79 seconds – just half a second in it!

The Blue Chip Pony Newcomers Championship is renowned for producing young stars of the future, and at the age of 15, Katie has clinched her first HOYS title. Riding 10-year-old Shovern Inca, owned by Claire Crossman, Katie only took over the ride from brother Thomas in January this year. The family are based in Berkshire and have strong links to horse racing, which seemed to rub off on Katie’s speedy performance today. Her mother Gee is a Cheltenham Festival winning jockey, and her uncle Marcus won the Grand National in 1990.

Katie said: “I was so happy when I realised I had won, but I was especially pleased with the pony. He’s still very novice but he just did everything I asked for in there. He has really come into his own this season and is proving to be more mature. My trainer Fiona Hobby told me to just go for the last fence, which I did, and luckily it paid off.

“It is amazing jumping in front of a crowd like you get at HOYS; the atmosphere is incredible and it is something I’ll never forget. I was quite nervous going into the jump off. Then I was watching Hollie’s round and did think she might do it, but I think my stride to the last fence is what secured it for me.”

Katie has two more classes this week at HOYS, and one year left competing in pony classes. So, watch this space, there may be more to come from this daring duo.

Audio interview with Katie: https://www.lloydbell.co.uk/access2/index.php?d=1477&b=32805

Victory at last for Hollie Gerken in the Leading Pony Showjumper of the Year 2023

Another highly esteemed pony showjumping final got underway in the Andrews Bowen International Arena this afternoon at Horse of the Year Show. The Leading Pony Showjumper of the Year final welcomed 23 pony and rider combinations to the floor. A class requiring speed and precision from round one, the tricky course soon whittled the competitors down to just six clears, inside the time allowed, and making it through to the jump off.  

13-year-old Hollie Gerkin from Essex was last to go aboard the Deborah Doyle owned 12-year-old bay mare, Ramiro High Society. After two combinations failed to finish the course, Hollie held her nerve as she navigated the challenging obstacles.

Jumping one of just two double clears, Hollie pipped opponent and current leader Harriet Hodge to the post by just half a second, finishing in a time of 34.85. After finishing second and third in the earlier Pony Newcomers final, it was now Hollie’s turn for victory.

“The whole day has been amazing and I am so pleased with the results. It is my first HOYS win and I couldn’t be happier,” said Hollie.

“I was aware the other riders were having trouble at the double, but I knew my pony would make the turn and she rarely knocks a pole, so I just had to keep my outside leg on and ride forwards. I just rode confidently and went for it. Winning this class is just amazing!”

Audio interview with Hollie: https://www.lloydbell.co.uk/access2/index.php?d=1477&b=32806

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