Proving that size is no handbrake when it comes to jumping, Rebecca Bryce piloted the pint-sized 14hh gelding, Knockillaree Castle, to top honours in the BE90 Kent & Masters Arena Eventing Championship.
Stirling-based Rebecca, 16, teamed up with ‘Connor’ 10 months ago and the pair have enjoyed plenty of success since, including representing the West Perthshire branch of the Pony Club at the recent Pony Club Championships.
“He loves his jumping and he loves an atmosphere and an audience,” said Rebecca, who had never jumped more than 75cm before she started riding Connor, who belongs to Fiona Longley.
“It was a great, fun competition. I’ve done a few arena events so I knew what to expect, but to compete here at Blair Castle is amazing,” she added.
In the BE100 Championship, Newcastle-based teenager Jade Pitt triumphed with her attractive skewbald gelding, Pallas Vank Wish. The pair lowered an unlucky rail, but made amends for this by soaring over the joker fence.
“We’ve been struggling a bit with skinnies and corners out eventing, so it was great to come here and have him feel so confident,” said Jade, who works full-time for her parents, who run a yard south of the border. “’Buzz’ is my only competition horse at the moment as the yard keeps me busy.”
This was the first of two Kent & Masters Arena Eventing Championships, in which competitors tackle a two-phase competition: a course of show jumps immediately followed by a series of cross country fences. The winner is the competitor with the least number of jumping penalties who finishes closest to the optimum time.
BE90 Championship; 1 Rebecca Bryce, Knockillaree Castle; 2, Duncan McFayden, Mileage For Milo
3 Molly Bower, Noble Elton; 4 Sam Harrison, Chequored Elf; 5 Sally Robinson, Cooley Conker.
BE100 Championship; 1 Jade Pitt, Pallas Vank Wish; 2 Hannah Brisbane, Barana Moy Boy; 3 Tara Brisbane, Balmyre Santa Express; 4 Jak Warren, Hank; 5 Amelia Cooper, Sainsburys.