It was a worthwhile 11-hour trip from Aberdeen for young Scottish rider Nicole Lockhead Anderson. The 13-year-old took the 138cm Championship title riding Sonas Barney at Horse of the Year Show (HOYS) this morning (Saturday 10 October).
The jump-off produced an exciting head-to-head battle between Nicole and Tegan Rowlands aboard Grey Palace. Out of the 22 pony riders, they were the only two to produce first-round clears, earning themselves spots in the jump-off.
Nicole’s clear round in 34.89 seconds could not not be matched by Tegan, who came home 6.02 seconds in arrears.
“When I walked the course I thought there would be more clears but it was also technical,” said Nicole of the Bob Ellis-designed track.
“I’ve ridden him for three years and enjoyed success with him but this is my first win at HOYS. He’s competed here with all of his previous riders,” she added of the experienced 18-year-old gelding. “Mark McGowan helps me at shows, but my mum told me to go into the jump-off and have some fun.”
Two of the young riders came agonisingly close to making it through to the final round but were caught out by time penalties having produced clears. Atlanta Vailionis and Tate Mist picked up five time penalties – while Tahnia Jordan-Jones came even closer collecting just one time penalty aboard her pony Oakhurst In The Spotlight.
Koda’s winning swansong
Twelve-year-old Lily Grimwade made her final show riding her 15-year-old pony Koda a triumphant one. The pair produced the only clear round in the eight-rider jump-off to take the 128cm Championship title.
“He has been sold and his new owners are picking him up and taking him home from HOYS. This is my biggest win and my first time at HOYS so it feels amazing – I’ve always watched it on television,” said Lily who has ridden Koda for 18 months.
“It was quite a technical, strong course but height is not a problem with him. He’s really nice to ride and has basically taught me to ride.”