Just a fortnight ago, 14-year-old Isabella Beecroft-Luckett helped the North Warwickshire branch of the Pony Club finish second in the Prince Philip Cup mounted games at Horse of the Year Show. Last week she notched up a hat-trick of wins at the Longines Global Champions Tour (LGCT) in Samorin, Slovakia.
Isabella is the daughter of international showjumpers Geoff Luckett and Claire Beecroft and at the end-of-season LGCT show last week (14-16 and 21-24 October) she flew to victory in tremendous style in the CSI2* classes with her 13-year-old Dutch-bred mare Dahar.
Isabella had her first visit to the winner’s enclosure in a speed class on week one of the fortnight-long show, repeating the feat in Thursday’s opener when the pair finished over a second clear of the 16-strong field, in which she also finished sixth with the 10-year-old mare Zandara Z.
Isabella extended her winning margin the following day to an impressive three seconds, then came within a whisker of picking up a fourth coveted LGCT winner’s rug, just missing out by 0.12 seconds with Zandara when stepping up to the 1.30m speed class.
“I’m really thrilled,” said Isabella, who has enjoyed a great season competing on the LGCT circuit when it fits in with her schoolwork and mounted games competitions.
“Dahar [pictured below] is a really fun horse and fast, but good when you want to slow down as well. She’s a bit grumpy in her stable but as soon as she gets out she’s really cuddly and friendly.”
There was some tough competition throughout the two-star classes held at the impressive X-Bionic Sphere venue in Slovakia.
“I was really happy because there were a lot of people there who wanted to win — it was cool when I did it,” she said. “I was a bit nervous going in to the prizegiving because there were a lot of people watching but I did feel proud.”
Talking about Zandara, who she’s had for a year, she said: “She’s got a huge jump and she always goes with her head up so you never feel like you’re going to fall off the front. She’s also got a very long stride so she’s fast.”
Isabella swaps between her three showjumping horses, which also includes the 15-year-old mare Vanda Cartier, and two mounted games ponies.
“The ponies feel as if they’ve shrunk when you get back on them!” she said. “They’re so quick as well.
“Hopefully I’d really like to do more LGCT shows but it has to fit in with school, so in the summer holidays works best — I’ve had such a great year though.”
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As a discipline, mounted games is highly competitive, with many riders and teams battling for the top spots. Chrissie Mayes
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