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.
Fresh from her success in The Netherlands for GBR Team Naf Children on Horses, Tabitha headed north with her ponies, this time to the Harbro Scottish Home Pony. From 18th July to 21st July the Scottish National Equestrian Centre hosted individuals and teams from Scotland, England, Wales and Ireland all competing for the top honours and the elusive Horse of the Year Show qualifications.
Qualifying for the prestigious Horse of the Year Show at the NEC in October is at the top of every equestrians list.Tabitha not only won Leading Rider but qualified 3 more of her ponies for HOYS, Mister Proper, Orchids Vienna and Nightgirl Van Het Sonnisshof Z bringing her tally to 8 HOYS tickets
With barely time to stop off home in Wymeswold she is on route from Scotland to Sussex to compete at The Longines Royal International Horse Show, Hickstead, in the hope of lifting one of the Championship trophies at this illustrious show ground.
Tiny Tabitha Triumphs! Bringing a European Bronze medal home to Wymeswold
Petite, 12 year old Tabitha Kyle arrived home this week triumphantly, with a Bronze medal from the Children on Horses European Championships in Zuidwolde, Netherlands and narrowly missed out on making it a double by placing 5th in the individual.
Tabitha was the smallest member of the team jumping on the biggest horse, at around 148cm in height, she could barely see over the fences she took on with her huge 17.2hh horse.
Talking about her big beast named Bart, Tabitha said, “He flies over the fences like a bird, he is kind and really looks after me in these big competitions. I am very lucky to ride him! I really was an incredible feeling to stand on the podium with my teammates."
As part of GBR Team NAF Children on Horses, Tabitha already had two clear rounds under her belt and was determined to deliver a third clear to maintain a clean sheet. Belying her young age and being the pathfinder for GB, she jumped with great accuracy and maturity to duly deliver that much desired third clear, helping Britain finish in the bronze medal position.
Under the guidance of Chef d'Equipe Clare Whitaker, the whole team of five girls, Tabitha Kyle (12), Amelie Gachoud (14), Chloe Lemieux (13), Aimee Jones (14) and Phoebe Farman (13) fought hard to finish on the podium and were the only British team to come home with a medal from the Europeans.
Tabitha and Grennanstown Sarco Luxhill also finished 5th in the individual medals. She was the highest placed British rider and just missed out on a podium spot by one pole. Glennanstown Sarco Lux Hill who is called Bart in his stable is an Irish bred, 9 year old gelding, loaned by International show jumper and neighbour Holly Smith and owned by Gordon and Sue Hall.
Parents, Mark and Tanya Kyle who are based at Queenholme Equestrian have an illustrious eventing career behind them, Mark represented Ireland in the 2004, 2012, and 2016 Olympics for eventing.