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: