The journey over from the Isle of Man was worth the trip for school leaver Sinead Cox, who took home two victories and a clutch of top placings on her international debut at the Dodson & Horrell Bolesworth International Horse Show (7-11 July).
Sinead, 18, piloted the 16-year-old mare Valtaire (Touchdown x Voltaire) to a brace of 1.05m wins and a second place across the amateur classes.
”It’s quite a good week really for my first senior international,” she said modestly.
“I’ve had her since I was 13, she’s really my speed mare – she likes going fast! She’s a fun horse.”
Sinead has won classes up to 1.20m with the mare, owned by Valerie Cox, and will head to the British Showjumping National Championships (3-10 August) to defend their Members’ Cup title.
Sinead was also competing the “gentlemanly” 14-year-old grey gelding Cando 6 at Bolesworth – and he will also head to the nationals for the 1.30m classes.
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Sinead explained how the Isle of Man is a lovely place for young horses to gain experience and older horses to enjoy the downtime of hacking to the nearby beach. And while the Isle of Man was not as severely affected by Covid as other areas of the UK, the pandemic has meant travel between the island and the mainland was not possible for a long time.
Sinead travelled over in June for a month’s intensive training with Mark McCourt ahead of Bolesworth, after seven months out of the ring.
“It feels quite exciting to be jumping my first international – it’s that feeling of nervousness and excitement at the same time,” said Sinead, who has experience in big arenas from her time in working hunters, with showing wins at HOYS and the Royal International before switching disciplines.
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