An exciting six strong jump-off saw 13 year-old Tabitha Kyle from Loughborough, Leicestershire with the 11 year-old bay gelding Gangnam Style take the Leading Pony Showjumper of the Year title, sponsored by Shaw Farm Stud, at the British Showjumping Indoor Championships this afternoon at Aintree Equestrian Centre.
The six that came forward from the field of over thirty all put in extremely competitive rounds but it was Tabitha’s early lead in a time of 35.07 seconds that proved impossible to beat having turned extremely tight back to a double before taking a stride out to the final fence. Alfie Miles was the closest to catching her when as the final rider to come forward aboard Quantum Light he broke the finish line in 36.82 seconds to nudge Elsi Jacques and Trevoulter Ladies Man into 3rd place as the only other clear with their time of 37.52 seconds.
Henry Squibb with Kilcurry Dawn took 4th when a touch at the last saw them pick up 4 penalties in a time of 37.87 seconds. Toby Fry, also on 4 penalties took 5th and Elsi Jacques on her second ride Dapple Grey Dew Drop finished in 6th.
For Tabitha it was the third win of the Championships which has seen her win the Pony Foxhunter on Friday and the 138cm Championships earlier this morning. Talking about her win with Gangnam Style II just after the presentation she said “I took the ride on from Nicole Lockhead-Anderson who is a lot older and taller than me so we had to try lots of different techniques with him but we have got there now. We have done lots of pole work at home, which was Dad’s idea, and it has really helped as we have a great rapport together now. He is quite a strong pony but as soon as we clicked I found that I just needed to keep the rhythm going and we now get on really well. He’s just the sweetest pony and the friendliest one that we have on the yard I think and he’s always looking for food!”
About the jump off round and her hopes for the future with him she said “I’ve been really lucky as I initially rode him whilst he was available for sale and I can’t thank Gordon and Su Hall enough as they bought him just before lockdown for me to ride; I’m so grateful to them. He is such a good pony as the scariest jump for me today was the big vertical with a turn just after it but he did it perfectly and then I knew I was taking a risk to the last when we took a stride out but he was so positive coming into it. We will continue doing JA classes and then hopefully also do the viewing trial shows as well.”
It was the in-form 13 year-old Tabitha Kyle from Loughborough in Leicestershire who took the Pony Foxhunter title at the British Showjumping Indoor Championship Show at Aintree Equestrian Centre this evening by posting an incredibly fast jump-off clear with the 10 year-old black pony Teagan Arla Rose owned by Alison MacDonald.
From a field of forty starters it was eight that made it through to the jump off with Tabitha qualifying two of her rides through. Drawn first to go with Lickaun Lady it was unfortunate 4 fault finish to see them take eventual 6th place however she made up for this when she posted a phenomenal round with Teagan Arla Rose to claim the title.
An early lead by Jake Myers with Oakley III in a time of 35.50 had certainly laid down the gauntlet with it not looking like much time, if any, could be saved. However, as has become all too usual in recent seasons, Tabitha managed to find where she could take a few chances of edging him down into 2nd place and she did just that.
Two very tight turns before the final line in which she pushed Teagan Arla Rose forward to saw Tabitha take a flyer and a stride out at the final fence, an oxer, to break the finish line in 33.34 seconds taking more than two seconds off what had looked previously to be an unbeatable time. With three riders left to go it would have been a nail biting time for Tabitha and her support team and Tabitha couldn’t have looked any happier when she rode into the arena to take pole position in the presentation line up.
With Jake Myers taking second it was Thomas Bradburne with Derryinver Rocky who took third place having posted a stylish clear in a time of 38.73 seconds. Fourth went to Rachel Proudley who had set the standard for others to follow early on in the jump off with Okehurst Sunrise whilst Anna Black took fifth aboard Miami Sandyman ahead of Tabitha’s second ride.
Talking afterwards about her pony Tabitha said “She came to me in February having been ridden previously by Shaunie Greig who had done a lot of the ground work with her first. I qualified her just before the lockdown and since then my mum and I have been doing a lot of work with her at home on her flatwork.
“Mum (Tanya) has spent so much time with her as we always knew she had the scope but she used to be quite buzzy on her flatwork and mum has worked a lot on this. Next year she will be going to her owners granddaughter Connie, which was always the plan. She’s so sweet, she’ll hardly ever do anything wrong – she just likes to please.”
Tabitha’s first international show back since lockdown and she won all four Grand Prix that she qualified for on the last day of a thrilling competition in Le Mans, France.
Over Friday and Saturday she showed that her four ponies and one horse were in supreme form by winning and qualifying for their relevant Grand Prix on Sunday.
Sunday started with a win on Nancy in the 7 year old Grand Prix, Tabitha fought off tough competition but her pretty grey mare showed her true talent and flew over the jumps to clinch Tabitha's first win of the day.
She followed that by winning the biggest class of the day, the Pony Large Tour Grand Prix riding super speedy Gangnam Style II. The pair were unbeatable in the jump-off proving they will be a combination to watch for the future!
If that wasn’t enough the talented youngster, who recently turned 13 years old, rode her huge 17.1h horse Grennanstown Sarco Lux Hill to win the 1.20m Amatur Grand Prix in style.
To top off the day Tabitha placed 1st and second in the Pony Small Tour Grand Prix on Orchids Vienna and Atomic du Bary.
It was a sensational start to the season and a great confidence boost for the upcoming shows for Tabitha and her super string of ponies.
Tabitha said with a huge smile - "It was a magical day winning four out of four Grand Prix today! I cannot thank my team around me, owners and sponsors enough for all of their support to make this happen. It had been a fantastic show all round and I am so happy to be back out competing safely Internationally"
Tabitha Kyle completed a brilliant winning double at the TheraPlate UK Liverpool International Horse Show on Monday.
Just two hours after winning the 128cm pony championship, Tabitha triumphed in the P. Gowans Civil Engineering 138cm Championship.
It meant that she ends 2019 with a double at Liverpool, a double at the Horse of the Year Show and more than 150 wins in all competitions.
Those remarkable statistics underpin an amazing talent who, at just 12-years-old, continues to thrill audiences with her outstanding riding.
As in the 128cm class, she won from last to go in the jump-off, this time riding Playboy Van De Zoetewei.
Rachel Proudley and Buttons Two had set a scorching pace in 27.68 seconds, but Tabitha went more than two seconds quicker to take top honours, with Lauren Caroline and Jacoloupe in third and Poppy Deakin, riding Astral Ruben, finishing fourth.
"I have won three on the trot now of of the 138cm class here at Liverpool," Tabitha said.
"I hit the wing pretty hard on my first pony in the jump-off (Lissduff Royal), and that pushed me back in my confidence a bit.
"But as as soon as they opened the gate, I just concentrated on the round with my second pony.
"It's an amazing feeling, just so great. I am thrilled just to be invited here again, and it has been such a great experience."
Prolific winner Tabitha Kyle hit top form on day three of the TheraPlate UK Liverpool International Horse Show.
The 12-year-old rider, who is based in Leicestershire, won the Wicks Group 128cm Championship at M&S Bank Arena.
Tabitha has triumphed at major shows all over the country, and this time it was the 12-year-old pony Living the Dream that delivered the goods for her.
Five combinations from 19 starters made the jump-off, with Lucy Bowen-Howard and Toorboy Tommy holding the lead in a time of 31.13 seconds before Tabitha took centre-stage.
And it was an impressive display under pressure, clocking 29.52 seconds to continue a rich vein of form.
Lucy took second spot, with Emily Irvine and Bunbury Conquest in third and Abigail Gladstone, riding Remote Controlled, finishing fourth.
"It's a dream come true," a delighted Tabitha said.
"I have been trying for the past two years, and it is an amazing opportunity Nicky Creasey has given me to ride her pony.
"I have been riding this pony for about 20 months now, and it felt like it was a jump-off for me today.
"The course really suited my pony, and it is great to win here again. I am very happy."
Tabitha Kyle made her Sunday at Horse of the Year Show a day to remember as she became the first ever rider two win both the 128cm and the 138cm title in the same year at the show. Riding the eight-year-old bay gelding, Playboy Van De Zoetewei, Tabitha had a tough time to beat by rival Rachel Proudley, who set the bar high on a time of 34.73 riding Buttons Two. Riding full throttle over the double and to the final oxer, Tabitha lay down the gauntlet as the clock stopped on 33.04 seconds.
At just 12 years of age, Leicestershire based rider Tabitha rides with great composure, precision and skill, showing that the future of British Showjumping really is in great hands. With a smile as wide as she is high, Tabitha took to the arena for her second lap of honour in front of the crowd on the final day of HOYS 2019.
Speaking of her new record, Tabitha commented: “It’s been such a great experience to have won both of the Championships. He is only eight years old and we had him from Holland as a three-year-old, so we have literally done everything with him. My mum rode him until he was five and that’s when I started riding him. He was quite a nervous pony to begin with, and he still is around people, but once he gets into the arena he just focuses and knows what to do. I saw that Rachel had set a tough time to beat but I was determined to try and take the second win. My pony has quite a long stride and is very quick across the ground and thankfully it was just enough. He just loves to jump and I’m really pleased with him.”
To have an enormity of pressure placed on her shoulders from such a young age, Tabitha remains un-phased by the media attention and the show’s visitors even stopping her to ask for a selfie. “I’ve learnt a lot about myself, I don’t get pressured or nervous anymore at these big shows which really helps to stay calm.”
Listen to Tabatha Kyle's interview here courtesy of LloyBell Productions:
Leading from the beginning, 12-year-old Tabitha Kyle won the first class of the day in the Andrews Bowen International Arena to take the title in the Hilton Garden Inn 128cm Championship. The schoolgirl from Leicestershire showed experience beyond her years as she navigated her way around the jump off at lightning speed aboard nine-year-old grey mare, Corey's Princess. Setting the time to beat at 31.03 seconds Tabitha could do no more. The other five riders who followed, produced some fabulous rounds, but couldn’t do enough to catch her.
A special young talent, this is Tabitha’s third year competing at Horse of the Year Show and her last year on 128cm ponies, but she finally secures her first win. Having qualified nine ponies for five Championships at HOYS this week, the future is bright for this talented young jockey. Tabitha spoke of her win: “It feels really good to finally get my first win at HOYS. My pony did everything she could in there; she’s really good at galloping between fences and then coming back to me for the fence. I’ve been riding her for four years so we know each other really well. I don’t really get nervous, I just try and treat every round like any other. It felt odd going first, I usually like to go somewhere in the middle, but I put the pressure on the rest and had to just hope for the best.”
In a week when the British Showjumping Team brought home a European Bronze Medal and the much awaited qualification to the 2020 Tokyo Olympics, 12 year old Tabitha is dreaming that one day she will be part of the British Olympic Team like her Wymeswold neighbour and friend Holly Smith.
Fresh from Tabitha being crowned National 138cm Champion at the British National Championships, Stoneleigh, Warwickshire last week she travelled North to Southview Equestrian Centre for The Scope Festival of Showjumping. Qualification for the 6 day Festival happens all over the UK, throughout the year for horses and ponies bringing together the best of the best to battle it out for supremacy.
True to form Tabitha won the Scope festival 128cm and 138cm Championships riding Corey’s Princess and Playboy Van De Zoetewei respectively. In addition to winning the Graham Heath 128cm and 138cm Championships on Living the Dream owned by Nicky Creasey and Lisduff Royal respectively.
Demonstrating her consistency this year in total at Scope she won 11 different classes and picked up an additional 9 other podium spots.
A beaming Tabitha said “I cannot believe how lucky I am to have such amazing ponies, owners and sponsors, along with the help from my grooms and parents that make this all possible.”
After a hugely successful summer competing, it’s back to school next week for 12 year old Tabitha and preparation for the Horse of the Year Show at the National Exhibition Centre, Birmingham in October, where she has qualified ponies to compete for the coveted 128cm, 138cm and Pony Showjumper of the Year titles.