Young talent follows in her father’s footsteps to claim Hickstead victory

  • Shane Breen’s daughter Darcy has followed in her famous father’s footsteps by winning a prestigious title at Hickstead – just a week after he lifted the Hickstead Derby trophy for the first time.

    Young riders from across the country descended on Hickstead on 1 July for the Hurst College National Schools and Pony Club Jumping Championships. The competition, in its 58th year, features junior, senior, and Pony Club team and individual categories.

    Darcy Breen was part of the winning Cottesmore school team in the 90cm junior category with the experienced 15-year-old gelding Cearoin Mor Lad. Darcy was joined by cousin Mia – daughter of fellow Hickstead Derby winner Trevor Breen – with Golden Frisky, Orla Burrell-Thompson and Maxi Million, and Daisy Andrews on Woodwards Vinnie.

    The Cottesmore junior team Credit: Suse Martin Turner

    The team fought off competition from nine other schools and finished on a zero score, to take the victory over Hurst Red.

    Darcy, who said she’d like to follow in her father’s footsteps one day and win the Derby, took over the ride Cearoin Mor Lad from her older sister Lorna.

    “He’s a really reliable pony who is good at everything,” she said.

    Darcy’s mother Chloe Breen said the school was very nearly unable to provide a team owing to the competition clashing with the school play.

    “Fortunately the headmaster and the headmistress were very understanding, and one of the teachers stood in for Orla in the play,” said Chloe.

    “It was a really young team and Mia was only enlisted at the last minute, so that was an amazing achievement, and Darcy and Daisy are in their last year so it’s lovely for them to win. They all played their part and we’re delighted.”

    Daisy, a former Olympia and Horse of the Year Show winner, went one step further and was crowned winner of the Hickstead elite 1.10m National Schools Equestrian Association individual championship with nine-year-old Cevin Z son Bermudez BDA, who she is aiming at senior newcomers second rounds this year.

    Another showjumper’s offspring to reign victorious was Rosie Smith – daughter of Olympic rider Holly Smith – who was part of the winning senior Tudor Hall team. Rosie and her teammates Xanthee Anstee Marriott on Ardough Boy, Hettie Turcan with Capard Lady and Molly Turcan on Star Smokey, beat Seaford College into second. Rosie was also third individually with Caherlistrane Glass, with the individual senior top spot going to Georgie Beeby Wynn and Afficks Eclipse from Berkhamsted school. Matilda Jackson Clutton of Mayfield school won the individual junior section on Corriview Molly.

    The Tudor Hall senior team Credit: Suse Martin Turner

    Talented 16-year-old event horse Amsterdam 21 – the former four-star ride of New Zealand’s Jesse Campbell – showed his versatility, winning the individual Pony Club competition with Charlotte Bull of the Eridge branch.

    “He’s a phenomenal horse and it was so lovely to come here and have such a great experience on him,” said Charlotte, who got the ride in February.

    In the Pony Club team competition the Crawley & Horsham branch, featuring Briony Martin and Tynan Express, Ella Bubb and Happy, Felicity Reynolds and Directeur and Georgia Stephens on Gorsehill Jack, took the honours ahead of Eridge.

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