A 12-year-old rider kept her rivals at bay and claimed the Ariat 90cm champion title at the H&H Festival of Eventing.
Charlotte Cooke and Liscannor Tulira (Theo) held their overnight lead after the cross-country and a polished clear round in the showjumping led them to victory.
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Charlotte told H&H she was excited going into the round.
“I wasn’t nervous but I wanted Theo to do well for him – he deserved to win, he tried his heart out,” she said.
“The course was really nice with the dog-legs and gave us something to look for and concentrate on.”
Charlotte moved into the lead with Theo after a clear round cross-country left them on a dressage score of 28.5. She had previously held the top spot with her other ride, Iceford Jigsaw, but an expensive stop in the cross-country left them on a score of 46.25 to finish in 22nd place after a clear round showjumping.
Charlotte described 14.2hh Theo, who she has owned for eight months, as “phenomenal”.
“He has a really good jump – the first time I sat on him I fell in love,” she said.
“I need to make sure I don’t rush him or push for the long strides and let him work it out. Because he’s so nice, you can get a bit carried away so you need to remind yourself to leave him to it.”
Tracey Houston and Pallasgreen Promise produced a clear round showjumping to remain in second place on a score of 28.35, having picked up 1.6 too-fast time-penalties in the cross-country. Gabrielle Macdonald and Menai Laurence jumped clear to finish on their dressage score of 29.25 for third place.
‘He was way really quick but I had my watch on and left him to it’
Charlotte has stormed into first and third place, while her mum, Claire lies in eight
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Claire Cooke, Charlotte’s mum, produced a lovely clear round showjumping to join her daughter in the line-up, picking up fifth place on Tarbert Eiffel.
Charlotte said there has not been any mother-daughter rivalry throughout the weekend.
“We like warming up together and helping each other out. I’ve really enjoyed the whole weekend, it’s been really good,” she said.
Don’t miss the full report from the H&H Festival of Eventing in Horse & Hound magazine — on sale Thursday, 6 June.