‘Dreams can come true’: 10-year-old and her ‘unicorn’ take prestigious win

  • The mother of a 10-year-old showjumper who has achieved a prestigious double this year said it proves that “dreams can come true”.

    Izabella Rogers and Whinney Lass took the 128cm championship at the Horse of the Year show (HOYS) last week, having also won the 128cm winter championship at Hickstead this summer.

    Proud mum Nicola told H&H it was a “huge achievement”.

    “She’s just a normal girl who goes to school, works hard and loves her ponies,” she said. “Riding is all she’s ever wanted to do.”

    Nicola said neither she nor her husband is horsey.

    “We just used to go to watch HOYS and Hickstead. When Izabella was about six, she said to me: ‘I’m going to do this one day, Mummy,’ and now she has. Normal children, not from riding backgrounds, can achieve these goals too.

    “My husband and I have been learning as we go along – neither of us knew what a horse was before; we work, the children go to school and they do other things and we don’t have a groom; we’re just a normal family.”

    Izabella was given her first pony at 18 months old, as she was “adamant” she wanted to ride, and went to her first shows before she was three.

    “We were watching the showing at HOYS when she was about four and she said: ‘Mummy, I’m not going to do this, it’s too boring; I only want to showjump,” Nicola said. “It just went from there.”

    Izabella told H&H the win was “amazing”.

    “Mummy used to take me to the shows and I just wanted to be out there doing it,” she said.

    Asked about her 15-year-old mare, Izabella said: “She’s a unicorn, inside and out. She’s got wings.”

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    Izabella and Whinney Lass have also qualified for Olympia and the Liverpool International Horse Show this winter.

    “Dreams can just come true,” Nicola said.

    For all the latest news analysis, competition reports, interviews, features and much more, don’t miss Horse & Hound magazine, on sale every Thursday.

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