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Remember the name: Allana Clutterbuck — the young rider hoping to emulate her hero John Whitaker

Over this festive season, we are shining a light on up-and-coming talent across the equestrian disciplines. These are riders you really need to keep an eye out for during the 2021 season...

One young showjumper who is riding the crest of the wave right now is Allana Clutterbuck, who turns 20 in February. Her crowning moment in 2020 came when she won a seriously competitive young rider grand prix at the Dutch Youngster Festival in Wierden, The Netherlands, in August on her top horse Vykinbay. The pair soared home nearly 2sec quicker than their nearest rivals to claim a prestigious victory.

“That was a real highlight,” says Allana, who also represented Great Britain on the team there. “Going into the prizegiving was such a special moment. It was my first young riders team and I was quite nervous because I’d only done ponies and juniors before but Vykinbay performed really well.”

Allana enjoyed a great career on ponies, winning team silver (2017) and bronze (2016) medals for Great Britain on the prolific Sultan Du Bary and won the young rider championship at Olympia with Atomic Du Bary.

She and the 11-year-old Selle Francais gelding Vykinbay were core to many junior teams but are now bidding to be selected for next year’s young rider team for the European Championships.

“We’re talking about maybe starting on the Sunshine Tour in Spain at the beginning of the year so I’d like to go there and do quite well, then hopefully get picked for Nations Cups teams and hopefully go on the Europeans after that,” says Allana, who is based near Brentwood, Essex.

As well as her top horse, Vykinbay, who is owned by Sally Lane, Allana rides the 12-year-old stallion Urlevent Du Bary with whom she has secured podium places in young rider classes. She sources most of her horses, including her medal-winning pony Sultan Du Bary, from the Du Bary Stud in France, who have supported Allana for many years.

“They breed them and then send them over to me to ride,” she explains.

Allana is well known for doing a fantastic job in producing her horses from scratch and has some exciting younger horses coming through the ranks.

“I have a six-year-old called Etoile Du Bary which I’m excited about, she’s really starting to perform well,” she says. “Then I have a five-year-old called Kitty, who is owned by my dad and looks as though she’s going to be really good too. She won a Foxhunter recently, so that was great.”

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Allana’s equestrian hero is John Whitaker, with whom she spent a spell training in 2018.

“I’ve looked up to John all my life,” she says. “I trained with him for six months then went on the Sunshine Tour with him — I helped grooming for him and rode there too. It was a fantastic opportunity.”

Allana is definitely one to watch in 2021.

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