Tabitha takes the title

Read our round up from the British Showjumping Pony Winter Finals at Hickstead 

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An in-form Tabitha Kyle and Playboy van de Zoetewei retained the Pony of the Year Winter 138cm Championship on Thursday at the Science Supplements All England Jumping Championships.

Thirteen year-old Tabitha, who comes from Loughborough, took on 22 other competitors in her bid to become the Winter 138cm Champion for the second consecutive year. She used her penultimate draw in the seven horse jump-off to her advantage, stopping the clock with all fences still standing in a time of 34.22 seconds.

Having netted the double of wins with the nine-year-old bay gelding Playboy van de Zoetewei, Tabitha also took third place on her other ride, Mister Proper.

Tabitha said “I’ve had him [Playboy van de Zoetewei] since he was four and we bought him from a video on Facebook, we managed to get a very good pony and he has been incredible for the last three years.

“Today’s jump off might have been the fastest that I have done so far, it’s such a big arena with so many fast lines and you had to push quite a lot, it’s just incredible to win this Championship again.”

Sophia scoops 128cm title

Chelmsford's Sophia Rogers, 10, scooped the top prize in the Pony of the Year Winter 128cm Championship on Whinney Lass.

A strong field of 24 contested the first round and this was whittled down to eight for an ultra-competitive jump-off in which six double clears were produced.

The fastest of the double clears came from Sophia on Whinney Lass, 17 year-old grey mare owned by Nicola Rogers. Sophia made the most of the available shortcuts to jump double clear in 37.45 seconds, a time which eventually gave her almost two seconds in hand over her nearest rivals.

Today’s victory marked Whinney Lass’ third consecutive win in this Championship, having been piloted to victory by Sophia’s sister Izabella in 2018 and 2019.

A delighted Sophia said “Whinney Lass is just a superstar and at home, we let her do whatever she wants, she is just free range around the yard! This win means everything to me and when I found out I had won, I just started happy tears crying.” 

First Hickstead win for Lauren Caroline

Fifteen year-old Lauren Caroline from Warlingham, Surrey, delivered a convincing win when she produced the only double clear in the Pony of the Year Winter Grade JC Championship.

Lauren took the Championship title on board Kissemmie Chatterbox, a 15-year-old British-bred brown gelding owned by Lee Caroline.

A total of 23 challengers came forward for this Championship, with just eight able to find the answers needed to access the jump-off. The course proved to be tough with just the one double clear being produced by Lauren and Kissemmie Chatterbox, in a time of 40.73 seconds.

Talking after the class, Lauren said “I’ve jumped in the International Arena twice before but this is my first win here. “We’ve had him [Kissemmie Chatterbox] about a year and he wasn’t very confident but he’s much braver now and he loves jumping. Ahead of the show, I made sure that I did plenty of schooling and grid work to get him ready. In terms of plans for the future, he’s ready for the JA classes now so that will be the focus for next year.”

The Science Supplements All England Jumping Championships take place from the 2-6 September.

For full results click here

Press releases by British Showjumping 

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