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.”