‘I gave my pony a hug when I heard we’d won’: meet the new 128cm champion and her much-loved pony *H&H Plus*

  • Just two of the 25 starters jumped double clear in the 128cm championship final, with Cate Kerr and Dunbarover IV producing the fastest fault-free jump-off round. Find out more about Cate, ‘Yogi’ and their winning performance...

    New 128cm champion Cate Kerr celebrated “probably her biggest showjumping win” with a hug from her pony at the British Showjumping Indoor Championship Finals at Aintree International Equestrian Centre.

    Cate and Dunbarover IV (“Yogi”) were the fastest of the two combinations who jumped fault-free rounds in the British Showjumping 128cm Championship on Saturday (10 October).

    “It’s very exciting,” said Newmarket-based Cate, 11.

    “I had just got off my other pony and then there was just the last one to go. When they said I had won I was so happy!” she said, adding she celebrated by giving Yogi a hug.

    Cate and Yogi were the third of nine combinations to go in the jump-off on the bouncy dun, producing a neat, quick clear over Mark McGowan’s course in of 32.93 seconds.

    “I was thinking that because this is HOYS a lot of people would go quickly, so I thought I had to go for it, but not take any risks,” said Cate, who has help from her Mum and from Mike Maloney.

    “I liked the course, it was quite technical in places — from the third to fourth fence and then back round to the double that line there was technical because there wasn’t much room.

    “We went to HOYS last year and there was an amazing atmosphere and there is still an amazing atmosphere here this year.

    Sophia Rogers and the lovely grey Whinney Lass were last to go, jumping a faultless round to take second as the only other double clear of the championship in a time of 34.19 seconds. Third went to the fastest four-faulter, Katie Bradburne and Carrowvila Izzy (32.67), with Cate and her second ride, Taggarts Express fourth in 33.17.

    Cate, who has been riding Yogi since 2018, added he has a “really nice character”.

    “The adrenaline was building up and he was getting a bit nervous [before our round],” she said. “He is more chilled out when he goes in the ring.

    “He is quite funny, when you’re riding him in the courtyard [at home] and something goes past he will put his ears back and doesn’t like it — and in the stable he has a really floppy lip. “He is always right in the corner of the stable resting as he just likes that spot, he isn’t lazy, just chilled out.”

    His favourite thing?

    “I’m not going to say polos, because sometimes he doesn’t want them, but he does like all food!” she laughed.

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