Hot Bluebird flies to Hickstead victory

A young rider made a long journey to Hickstead worthwhile when winning today's feature class at the Prenetics Royal International Horse Show

Jessica Hewitt Hot Bluebird

A 22-year-old rider from Doncaster claimed today’s Winter Grades B&C Championship at Hickstead.

Jessica Hewitt and the nine-year-old bay mare Hot Bluebird took the title after a blisteringly quick jump-off time that no one else could get close to.

“The jump-off suited my horse because you can really gallop and jump her. When I galloped to the last, I could trust her to still be careful,” said Jessica.

The pair have had plenty of successes on the Spanish Sunshine Tour, and she has kept up her winning momentum over the summer. “Recently, pretty much every class she’s done, she’s won,” says Jessica, who describes the mare as being ‘probably 16hh on tiptoes’.

Jessica made the journey down from Yorkshire just for this one class. “I just had a gut feeling about this class. It’s weird –  sometimes I just get the feeling one will do well, and I had that with her today.”

Katie Bradburne proved she has inherited her parents’ love of speed when winning today’s Pony of the Year 138cms Final with Dolly Du Carel.

She is the daughter of former Cheltenham Festival winning jockeys, Gee Armytage and Mark Bradburne, but she’s currently choosing showjumping over racing at the moment. “I have done a few races, and my brother’s done quite a few more than me, but showjumping’s going quite well at the minute,” she said. “The choice is always there for us, but at the moment, it’s all about the showjumping!”

Katie only got Dolly Du Carel recently, but they have gelled quickly as a partnership and looked a formidable team today at Hickstead. “It’s a giant arena out there, but Dolly opened up so much and she just loved it. In the first round she was obviously still amazing, because she went clear, but I think it was just all the adrenaline and super excitement that she got quite strong and fast – but that helped me in the jump-off.”

Despite being super-competitive in the ring, Dolly is much more chilled out at home. “You’d think, because she’s quite strong in the ring, that she wouldn’t be good at home, but she does everything – hacks with anyone, and you can go bareback for miles. She’s got such a kind heart.”

In the SEIB Winter Novice Championship, Misca Irving was the fastest of only two double clears. Riding I Sir Marcus, she finished a second quicker than Nicole Lockhead Anderson and Kingston Star.

For all showjumping results, click here.

Tickets for the Prenetics Royal International Horse Show (21-25 July) are on sale now, costing £15 per adult, £10 concessions and under-16s going free. Visit the Box Office. 


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