5am starts reap rewards for truck driver crowned bronze league champion *H&H Plus*

  • Find out more about the full-time lorry driver, who claimed his first national title aboard his own late-starting ‘lovely mare’, Fluffy...

    Alistair White continued Scotland’s winning streak at the British Showjumping Indoor Championship Finals with victory in the NAF Five Star summer bronze league final.

    Falkirk-based Alistair, who works full-time as a truck driver for a builders’ merchant, and his own Hanleen O Tess (“Fluffy”) were one of just six double clears from 43 starters.

    Mark McGowan tested combinations with a mix of long stretches to open up, punctuated with tight roll-back turns and ending with a double to a 270° turn to a big white oxer.

    The big 11-year-old mare (Otis x Cruising), who only started jumping as a seven-year-old after being left to mature and grow into her frame, showed her class — eating up the galloping stretches and springing back for the tight turns, with just one sticky moment at the last, to jump clear in a time of 37.58 seconds.

    “Her rideability is great and she tries to win all the time — she knows her job and really wants to go in there and do her best every time,” beamed Alistair, who bought her from the Airds in 2016.

    “I’m a truck driver, so I’m up at 5am in the morning to exercise the horses before I go to work, then compete at the weekend, but that was something special today.

    “She’s such a lovely horse, easy to do in every way, and I’ve had great fun with her. I did try and change her name from Fluffy, but that was the one she came with!

    “She had a good rest when we went into lockdown, so had a few months chilling out in the field, then on light work for next few months and just recently back into work. This is only her fourth show back — she qualified on her first show back and I wasn’t even sure if I was going to jump the class as we were only just back out, but she went clear and we qualified so we thought we would give it a go.”

    This was the pair’s first national title and they are hoping to return for the Dodson & Horrell National Amateur and Veteran Championships next month.

    Second place went to Katherine McKellar and RJM Lucky Lad, double clear in a time of 38.71, with Claire Davies and Arcorana just behind in third in a time of 38.72 seconds.

    Alistair and Fluffy’s win was the second championship victory in as many classes for Scottish riders on the opening day of the finals (Wednesday, 7 October), following Charley Hamilton and Innishannon Red Squirrel’s success in the Equissage Pulse senior British novice championship.

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