Katie McNamara clinches victory in the Championship Final
There was an exciting finish to the first class of the day at the British Showjumping National Championships in Championship Arena 1 for the Pony Restricted Rider 1.00m Championship Final. With 24 pony and rider combinations through to the jump off out of a class of 50 competitors, it was all to play for. Dominic Turner was up first in the jump off riding Freddie the Star and the pair performed an exemplary round going clear in a time of 35.66 seconds – which seemed near impossible to beat. Competitor after competitor came in to try and knock Dominic from the top spot but it wasn’t until Katie Mcnamara came in, five from last to go, that another clear jump off was achieved. Fortunately for Katie she was a tenth of a second faster than Dominic and just pipped him to the post aboard her nine year old Dun gelding from Ireland, Lackaghmore Avatar.
Speaking to 16 year old Katie who is also a keen member of Waen-y-Llyn Pony Club in North Wales, she told us: “I was really nervous going in because I really wanted to go clear but I knew I had a tough time to beat. I wasn’t as risky on the turns as I sometimes am so that I could get a good line but luckily it paid off. I’ve had him [Lackaghmore Avatar] for nearly two years now but sadly it is our last year as I am moving onto horses. We have been trying desperately to qualify for Horse of the Year Show this year as that would be a dream come true; we are jumping in the Blue Chip Pony Newcomers Masters later on today so if he jumps just as well in that as he did just now then we might just do it. He is a pony of a lifetime though, we love him.”
Winner of the National Pony 1.15m Members Cup Final was Ffion Roberts from Holywell, North Wales riding Rich Faith. Ffion, who took over the ride of Rich Faith in 2014 from her brother Joseph, said of her round: “I knew what turns I wanted to do and I had decided on which fences were most likely to cause me problems so I just rode them really carefully. I haven’t been to this show before but now I’ve won I can’t wait to come back next year. This is our second season together and we have qualified for Horse of the Year Show in the Foxhunter so I can’t wait for that now.”
For the Blue Chip Pony Newcomers Masters, a HOYS qualifier, there were 32 combinations forward. Lead course builder Mark McGowan built a testing course with just nine riders making it through to the jump off. The times were close but the winning place went to Megan Taylor riding Novella II, a nine year old bay mare, owned by David Wingrove.
Megan from Tamworth in Staffordshire put in some tight turns to clinch the top spot ahead of second place Nicole Kershaw riding Miami Moonbeam: “I just went for it, I had to hold her back in places but when I turned for the last line I just let her go. I’ve had her since February and our first show was Arena UK where I qualified for Hickstead. Then we qualified for HOYS in the Squibb Group Pony Foxhunter second round at Bicton Arena in June – we’ve had a great season. She’ll have a bit of a rest now until HOYS.”
As Megan and second place Nicole Kershaw with Miami Moonbeam have already qualified for HOYS, the qualification place was passed down the line to the succeeding competitors; Ffion Roberts with Kantjes Bozzy, Alana Hood with Miami Sandyman and Anouk Mauree with Westerveld Flroijn.
Image credit: 1st Class Images