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13-year-old takes four grands prix at first post-lockdown international show

A young teenager enjoyed a good day at the office at her first international show since the coronavirus lockdown — by winning four grands prix.

Tabitha Kyle took three wins in pony classes and one against adults on Sunday (26 July), the last day of a show at Le Mans, France.

The 13-year-old first took the seven-year-olds’ grand prix on Licken Lady, following that up with a win in the biggest class of the day, the pony large tour grand prix, on Gangnam Style II.

Tabitha went on to complete a hat-trick, by winning the 1.20m amateur grand prix on her 17.1hh gelding Grennanstown Sarco Lux Hill, then her fourth victory came in the pony small tour grand prix on Orchid’s Vienna. She also finished second in this last class on Atomic Du Bary.

“I never expected the show to be that good!” Tabitha’s mother Tanya told H&H. “It just all went very well on the last day.”

Tanya said Tabitha had also won three other classes in previous days, and notched up some second places, “but to win all the grands prix was just fantastic, we never expected that”.

She added that the seven-year-olds’ track was bigger than expected, but Tabitha and Licken Lady jumped the only clear.

“She jumped the amateur grand prix on the horse she did children on horses with last year. She’d have preferred to do the one-star class but that’s 1.35m and you’re not allowed to jump 1.35s until the year of your 14th birthday, so she had to do that one,” Tanya said. “She won the class convincingly every day, and won the grand prix really well.

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“It’s fantastic when everything comes together like that; I’m very proud of her, and everyone who’s involved as it takes the whole team.”

Tabitha thanked her team, owners and sponsors for a “magical” day.

“I thought I might win a few little classes but not as many as I did, and definitely not the grands prix,” she told H&H. “It was good to be out again.”

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