A joint win in the Just For Schools National Championships
The spoils were split in the 90cm individual Just For Schools National Championships class, going to 14 year old Callie Lorimer from Aberdeen riding My Diamond Geezer and 11 year old Henry Nelson from Wales riding Arthur Comet who both finished on the same time. The new championships is a new initiative bought in by British Showjumping in conjunction with The Pony Club.
Having travelled all the way from Aberdeen, Callie Lorimer who has only been riding for three years, had to do the journey in two halves, setting off on Sunday to be ready for her class on Tuesday. Speaking of her winning horse, the Robert Gordon’s College student says: “He [My Diamond Geezer] is 12 years old and we have only had him since March. I qualified for the championships at Tillyoch Equestrian Centre by winning our class. I enjoyed jumping here at the British Showjumping National Championships, the course was well thought out; there was an option to take tight turns in the timed section so if you were able to make them then you could get a good time.”
11 year old Henry Nelson from Pembrokeshire was joint first riding his golden oldie, Arthur Comet, a 26 year old grey gelding. Henry has had Arthur on loan from the Jenkin’s family since October last year. Speaking to Henry’s mum Annouchka Nelson, she explained: “The Jenkin’s family have owned him for over 15 years and they jumped him internationally, he’s a very talented pony. They totally love him and so do we. This is Henry’s first season on him and they are doing so well. Arthur lives with us and when he is ready to retire he will go home to the Jenkin’s family.” Turns out Arthur has quite a story behind him having suffered and recovered from a cancer diagnosis five years ago: “When he was 21 the vet discovered a cancerous penile tumour which resulted in him having to have pioneering surgery in order to have the life threatening tumour removed. His owners were unsure whether he would come back from it but as you can see, he is as fit as ever and he just loves his jumping.” Both Henry and his brother George are competing in the Bronze League final on Thursday.
Team winners of the 1.10m Just for Schools National Championships were Kings of Wessex Blue team. Kathryn Thomas, age 15, from Cheddar in Somerset was riding her horse called Here’s Johnny. “He is eight years old and I have only had him for four months but we have got on really well. We have our Wilberry Wonder Pony here with us who is our mascot; we have been raising money through our Pony Club, Holden Hills, for the charity and we are proud to have him here with us today,” Kathryn said.
Team member Sam Fountain, age 17, was riding his 13 year old horse Vince. He explains: “I’ve had him for just over a year now. We did some school competition last summer but this year we have all the big competitions coming up. We are all members of Holden Hills Pony Club and we have recently been representing them at Hickstead and at Gatcombe, in a few week’s time we also have the Pony Club National Championships in Cheshire, then we have the NSEA final at Addington Manor in October.
18 year old Rebecca Thomas was the third member of the team riding 12 year old gelding Zorba IV, they were also placed second individually.
Asha Smith from Devon was the individual winner of the 1.10m Just for Schools National Championships riding Armani Pullman, a 16 year old chestnut gelding who she has only had for six months. “He is actually from Brazil; he was owned by a girl out there and when her dad had to move to the UK for work, she loved him so much that they bought him with them. She was then unable to carry on riding him and that’s when he came to us. Since having him we have competed at the Chepstow International where we were placed every day and then to win here today has been a great achievement. We are actually coming back here on Sunday to compete in the 1.15m Members Cup. The show is absolutely lovely, everyone is really kind and helpful and the facilities have been fantastic. The course jumped well and we can’t wait to come back on Sunday.”
The qualifying period for the 2017 Just for Schools Team & Individual Championships is underway. Running from 1st July 2016 – 30th June 2017, this season sees the Championships offer further opportunities for younger riders at Primary School level, with a new age range of 5 to 19 years. For more information please contact 02476 698824 or go to http://www.britishshowjumping.co.uk/membership/Just-for-Schools-Membership
For further information please contact firstname.lastname@example.org or call 02476 858 205.
Image caption: Joint winners Henry Nelson and Callie Lorimer
Image credit: 1st Class Images