Tales from Blue Chip Champs: ‘we didn’t know if we would get here’

It was touch and go whether Chloe Ancill would make her Blue Chip championship debut in her final pony year, but against the odds she made it to the show and walked away with a win and a second place.

Chloe, 15, had qualified for the Pikeur pony winter novice final at Bury Farm in November, but just a month later on Christmas Eve her nine-year-old pony Priceless B was kicked near her stifle and needed 13 staples, box rest then rehabilitation.

“She had a week of box rest and then just hand-walking. It took another eight weeks of careful riding to rehabilitate her and as she had lost muscle and condition, we didn’t know if we could get her back to fitness in time for this show,” said Chloe, 15.

After consulting with the vet, Chloe used arnica and medical grade manuka honey to help with the healing. And it worked. The pair were back out jumping in mid-February and this was their first major show. They excelled, taking second in the Pikeur 85cm and winning the PRB Horseboxes 85cm.

“We took an early lead and were winning by three seconds for a long time, although in the end it was quite close,” said Chloe.

It didn’t go to plan in the Pikeur novice pony championship but Chloe was pleased just to get round.

“I think she got a bit excited after we’d finished second in the previous class but it is a bonus to be going home with £150 in my pocket,” she said.

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‘Phoebe’ was only bought in September to give Chloe a good final pony year.

“Although we’ve missed getting our double clears for discovery and newcomers, we’re just glad to have our pony back. She’s gone from strength-to-strength,” said Chloe, who is aiming for the pony British novice final at the British Showjumping National Championships in the summer.

Don’t miss this week’s edition of H&H magazine, out 18 April, for a full report from the Blue Chip championships, as well as all the normal reports, news, features and interviews.

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