Grass roots competitiors enjoy a championship weekend at the inaugural PSOA Trailblazers finals

More than 750 riders descended on Stoneleigh for the first PSOA (Permanent Show Organisers Association) Trailblazers Championships, sponsored by SEIB and Horse & Hound and supported by the BHS.

PSOA founder and chairman Norman Bargh estimates that more than 50,000 riders have taken part in this series, designed to provide unaffiliated riders with their own championships.

He said: “We wanted to try to create a standard of competition for the grass roots riders to give them the impetus to move into affiliated competition. There has been enormous demand and we see the series growing.”

Juniors jump for fun

Twelve-year-old Aimee Stevens, a member of the East Kent branch of the Pony Club, outjumped more than 100 rivals to win both the junior 75cm and 85cm championships with the 12-year-old Welsh part-bred Erimus Maestro.

Owned by the family for four years, Maestro, who was originally ridden by her sister Sophie, is the three-times winner of the South-East WPCA part-bred championship.

Janine Robertson and the Welsh Cob Beauty II won the 95cm championship. Janine, whose family runs Malt House EC in Oxfordshire, is a member of the Old Berks Pony Club branch and is working towards her B test.

Samantha Magennis, winner of the 1.05m championship with the part-bred Cleveland Bay/Arab mare Baydale Velvet, intends to put her prize of a year’s membership of the BSJA to good use.

Samantha only had herself to beat in the jump-off and gained second place with the palomino Plausible Charm. The Horse & Hound rug was her second in a fortnight, after gained second place at the schools team show jumping finals at Hickstead.

Younger seniors reign supreme

The senior classes also produced a double champion in 17-year-old Sarah Bamford and the 14.2hh roan pony Mr Ed. They won the 95cm and the 1.05m finals, as well as taking overall victory in the 95cm championship.

Nursing assistant Andrea Clarkson was “surprised and lucky” to win the 75cm championship with the 19-year-old Sienna. Andrea, from Essenden, has owned the 14.2hhmare for 13 years and keeps her at DIY livery.

Kirsten Murdoch, who qualified in Scotland, made her eight-hour journey worthwhile when she and the part-bred Connemara, Benskeid, claimed the 85cm championship. “I had never even jumped in Englandbefore,” said 17-year-old Kirsten.

See Horse & Hound magazine (20 September) for full report on the show jumping finals. Report on the dressage finals in Horse & Hound magazine (27 September).

Click here to read full results.

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