Teenage rider and her ‘feisty’ chestnut mare beat their senior rivals to win LGCT London opener

  • The Longines Global Champions Tour of London (LGCT London) kicked off on Thursday (10 August) with a brilliant British win for teenage rider Isabella Beecroft-Luckett with her “feisty” chestnut mare Dahar. The 15-year-old racked up a string of top placings at the show last year, but said it “felt amazing” to claim a winner’s rug and lead the lap of honour for the opening CSI2* 1.15mIG Equine Boutique two-phase.

    Drawn late with the second of her two rides, Isabella steered the mare accurately round the tight bends and forward down the lines during the final section, just holding to the final oxer to nip home a whisker – 0.03sec to be precise – in front of long-time leader Tara Dow-Rein of Canada riding Hokyra Fortuna.

    “Dahar is really good at turning and sitting up at the end to wait for the final fence which we did on that final line,” explained Isabella of her mother Claire Beecroft’s Dutch-bred Quasimodo Van De Molendreef x Voltaire mare, who previously jumped on children-on-horses with Olli Fletcher.

    “She’s quite strong, but she makes up for it because she’s fast. She’s also so bouncy that she’s not great to ride on the flat – all she wants to do is get in the ring and jump fences.”

    LGCT London: receiving instructions over the phone

    Isabella’s mother Claire was in sole trainer mode while Isabella’s father Geoff Luckett was stuck at home watching the livestream – and phoning through instructions. The former international showjumper is on the sidelines after breaking his leg in a motorbike accident at home. It certainly paid off for Isabella, a former England mounted games team rider, who is in flying form at the moment.

    Dahar was given to her when Isabella was 11 and moving from ponies to horses. The mare wasn’t necessarily the obvious choice with her fiery nature, but the pair have formed an incredible bond.

    “I know her the best out of all of my group of horses, and it’s really nice to have a horse I know how to ride like her,” said Isabella.

    Taking third in the opening class of the LGCT London was Ireland’s Aisling Byrne, a regular winner at this show, riding Celeste SPB Z, while Isabella’s aunt Imogen Beecroft took fourth on Chablis.

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