Oliver Fletcher clinches the Pony Silver League 148cm Final
Oliver Fletcher from Farringdon, Oxfordshire was the first winner of the day in the British Showjumping Pony Silver League 148cm & Under Final. At just 13 years old Oliver jumped a show stopping round aboard his dad Graham Fletcher’s eight year old bay gelding, The Bobster. With endless support from both dad and mum Tina Fletcher, both leading international show jumpers themselves, it is no surprise that Oliver shows such talent so early on in his career.
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.
Taking the spoils in the British Showjumping Pony Silver League 138cm & Under Final was Sophia Lugo riding Cheeky Chap. Having been working towards this for months and even missing her family holiday to attend the show, Sophia was thrilled to have won: “I’ve been jumping him [Cheeky Chap] for nearly five years but he has been in the family for eight years; my sister rode him before me. I’m so glad that we won, it has just made everything worth it.”
In the British Showjumping Pony Silver League 128cm & Under Final, there were 15 combinations tackling the 1m course designed by lead course builder Mark McGowan. The pressure was high in this championship final resulting in each combination picking up faults. Therefore, the decision was made to have a jump off for the riders who had finished on four faults. The resounding winner was 11 year old Aimee Jones riding her 11 year old mare, Arrogan Emily TR.
“It was really fun, some of the fences were quite big, definitely up to height, but she jumped really well. We don’t jump on grass arenas very often but when we do it is usually at big championships such as this so it makes it feel more special. I’ve only had her for just over a year and not long after we got her we won the Stepping Stones Final at this show last August. Since then we have continued our training and it’s really nice to come back again this year and win again,” Aimee said.
Mark McGowan is our lead course designer here for the British Showjumping National Championships and he explains just what goes in to building a championship course: “With this class in particular I made sure it was a nice flowing course which took into account the undulations of the ground. We used some of the Olympic fences to add character to the course and to make it different from what the riders may have jumped in their qualifier.”
Image credit: 1st Class Images