Tales from Hartpury: meet the 10-year-old rider who rides elementary better than you

  • While most 10-year-olds are enjoying their last few years in first ridden classes, this young rider is taking the dressage circuit by storm with his novice and elementary performances — and has even taught his tiny pony half-pass.

    Myles Graham, who rode the 16-year-old Heavenly High Jinks to stand second in both the Petplan Equine Elementary Under 18 Area Festival final and the Baileys Horse Feeds Novice Freestyle, is a seriously talented young jockey who should be on your radar.

    “He’s been the best he’s ever been this weekend,” said Myles of his 13.2hh gelding, who will also be contending the Petplan Silver Novice Bronze Area Festival final later today. “I was pleased with his second medium trot, as he exploded a little bit on the first one.

    “In the freestyle, I certainly wasn’t expecting a second — I’m very happy and I only missed out on the first place by 0.8%.”

    Myles, who is 11 in six days, has been working at elementary level for five months.

    “His dream after Hartpury is to go medium — he has already taught Jinks to do half-pass,” said Myles’ mum Caron Roberts, who runs her own competition yard and doubles up as trainer.

    Myles describes the pony, who won the Pony Club Dengie dressage finals with his previous owner, as a ‘minx’ who often escapes from his stable.

    Caron added: “Myles was lucky to get Jinks. We lost his old pony suddenly so posted on Facebook in search of another and he happened to only be 10 minutes down the road.”

    Myles possesses an ambition well beyond his 10 years: “After Hartpury it’s straight into the mediums,” he said.

    When asked what he believes to be Jinks’ signature move, Myles said: “I can’t say really — the thing about all horses, is that one day you can do a brilliant flying change at the Europeans and then when they go to the Olympics, they rear up. Jink has lovely mediums but sometimes he can break into canter; it depends what day you get them.

    Wise words from this future star.

    For a full report from the British Dressage Winter Championships and Area Festival final – as well as news, views and expert comment – don’t miss Thursday’s issue of Horse & Hound magazine (19 April 2018)

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