The Stepping Stones 138cm Championship provided its fair share of afternoon drama with only nine clears out of 58 starters in the first round. The double of verticals at fence six caused problems for many riders, with other hopes dashed at the first fence a blue and pink oxer.
It was 11 year old Charlie Clapham who is doing his first season with British Showjumping and his first Championship, but him and the 19 year old ‘Little Madam’ set a beautifully fast round with tight turns for an unbeatable 38.74 seconds.
The little piebald mare proved to everyone watching that she was definitely back in form after a ligament injury.
“Little Madam injured her check ligaments after the boys went for a hack and thought they were jockeys on racehorses! She was out for a year but the staff at Wellington Riding in Hampshire did a fantastic job of her rehab, including using a water treadmill to help her recovery. We’re really glad it’s worked out and she is back on track, ” explained Charlie’s mum, Annabell.
“She is quite strong and feisty, she took off when she came out of the lorry this morning and towed mum about 50m along the grass!” chipped in Charlie. “She is really nice though. I got my new jacket in the post yesterday and I won wearing it today, so now it’s my lucky jacket! The Championship is really fun, I really like it.”
Annabell continued: “She is called Little Madam for a reason; she lives up to the name! But she is a superstar, we’re very lucky to have her. We’ve never been at Stoneleigh before so we are discovering everything.” The whole family, who live in Hook, Hampshire, were there to encourage Charlie, including his dad who had flown back specially from Tyron where he will be cross-country controller for the 2018 World Equestrian Games and his twin brother, who also competes in 128cm classes but whose pony went lame, meaning they missed out on a qualification.
Charlie started off doing school leagues and club classes before starting the Stepping Stones and qualifying for BSNC at Barleylands Equestrian Centre, Coombesland and Moores Farm Equestrian Centre.
For further information on the British Showjumping National Championships 2018 please contact firstname.lastname@example.org or call 02476 858 205.
NOTE: Please credit all images to: 1st Class Images