The crowd were treated to an impressive display of teamwork by all horse and rider combinations competing in the National Para Equestrian Championship this afternoon, which took place centre stage in Championship Arena 2. The Championship consisted of five titles which were awarded to the various grades. The grading system ranges from Grade I, II, III, IV with grades representative of the competitor’s level of disability.
The first Championship was 90cm Grade III won by Toby Benvis riding Baloe V, Toby also took second place with Askan Van Overis. Sarah Wicks took third on her own Avalon Mill. Toby, now aged 24 was born with a considerable area of malformed brain which has rendered him hemiplegic with weakness down his right side, particularly affecting his right hand fine motor skills but also his arm and leg.
The Grade III 80cm Junior Championship was won by 12 Flossie England riding Ardcarrig Snowball. Flossie did very well to get on Ardcarrig Snowball for the first time ever before the class, due to unforeseen circumstances; Flossie had to borrow the pony last minute from fellow competitor Ronnie Robinson.
The Grade II 80cm Championship was won by Claire Sexton riding Jem Stone. Claire produced a lovely clear round to take the title and in second was Christian Feigl with his own Cassis S.
The Grade I 70cm Championship was won by Karen Bostock riding Rossini IV while Mark Jones and Whisper XXI took second.
One rider in particular who amazed spectators with his round was Ronnie Robinson, who won the Grade IV Junior 60cm riding Ardcarrig Snowball. Ronnie, who is 12 and based in Norfolk, got into riding because of his three sisters. He won the same class last year and was really enjoying the show again this year. Ronnie’s mum Karen assists Ronnie during his round by calling out his turns and the “name” of the next jump, which was decided during his course walk.
NOTE: Please credit all images to: 1st Class Images