Cousins battle it out in the Pony Bronze League Final
Ellie Burrell-Squibb produced a performance to be proud of in the Pony Bronze League 128cm Final at the British Showjumping National Championships riding Kitty, taking the title from her cousin, and last year’s winner, Tia Squibb riding Gorm and Ban. With 20 starters in the class and 12 riders through to the jump off, it proved to be highly competitive between not only the two cousins, but all of the riders who had made it through.
The crowd were behind the riders every step of the way and although some put in a good time, it cost them by not going clear. Undeterred, Ellie put in some clever turns at a fast pace and managed to beat Tia by 2.5 seconds. She says: “I did have a plan going in to the jump off for which turns I was going to take, and luckily I manged to get them all. Kitty is 21 years old and yesterday we also won the Stepping Stones Championship. I’ve only been riding her since last year so this is our first season together and we are doing so well. It was my 10th birthday last week too which has made it even better.” Ellie was also awarded the highest placed Pony Club rider in the class.
In the 148cm Final, Kelly Wecke won riding her Welsh section D gelding Smudge owned by Penelope Ballard. Having owned him since he was just five years old, Penelope came across Kelly and her sister at a local show where they were competing and offered them the ride of Smudge who is now 24 years old and still loves his jumping. “He may be 24 years old but he still acts like a six year old; he’s always full of energy and gets rather over-excited at times, especially presentations,” laughed Kelly who travelled to the show from Suffolk. Having put in an extremely fast round in the jump off, Kelly continues: “I’ve been jumping Smudge in the newcomer second rounds so this was a bit different today, with it only being 90cm we could just go for speed.” And speed they got! Finishing in a time of 30.76, three seconds faster than second placed rider, Abigail Dorset riding Inverin Bobby.
It was 12 year old Casey Bell who was crowned champion in the Pony Bronze League 138cm & under riding Meadowbrook Wizard, a 17 year old gelding whose stable name is Welly. Despite Charley Hamilton on Kayem Friday’s Dance setting a tough time to beat, Casey put her foot down and came in with a time of 23.95, knocking Charley into second place. The young rider from Brentwood in Essex, said she was over the moon to have won here today: “I’m gobsmacked, we only affiliated to British Showjumping five months ago and now we’ve won the Bronze League Championship!” said a beaming Casey before giving her pony a big hug.
The Bronze and Silver Pony/Rider Combination League was introduced by British Showjumping in 2014 and allows all pony riders to be able to track their progress on a regional and national league table. The Pony National League runs from the 1st April– 30th September, with the next running from the 1st October – 31st March. There are three leagues; Bronze, Silver and Gold and they are split into three height categories of 128cm, 138cm and 148cm.
Image caption: Ellie Burrell-Squibb riding Kitty, winners of the Bronze League 128cm Final
Image credit: 1st Class Images