British grand prix rider Nikki Barker (née Crisp) finished 12th overall at the LeMieux National Grand Prix Championships, with just 11 weeks to go until she gives birth. Nikki revealed that she and husband Will are expecting a baby girl in early March.
Her pregnancy has not been keeping Nikki out of the saddle; she piloted her 12-year-old Spielberg stallion Durable – known as Danny – to 11th place in the grand prix at Hartpury, scoring 69.14%, and then 13th in the freestyle a day later on 71.9%. Their total score across the two days meant they took 12th position in the overall championship.
“Danny is such a good boy and looks after both of us on board,” Nikki told H&H. “I’m having a girl so she will definitely be pony mad. I have a very excited husband!”
Nikki was not the only pregnant rider taking part in the championships – Hayley Watson-Greaves, who finished eighth overall with Rubins Nite, and scored plus-76% in the freestyle – is expecting a baby girl in April with husband Paul.
“I feel fine riding, although rising trot is more friendly than sitting trot,” Nikki said at the championships. “Danny is a saint – you’d never worry about riding him. I don’t think he knows how to be bad, he is such a kind boy.
“I wonder if the extra weight is making him sit on his bum more,” she joked.
Charlotte Dujardin breaks the 90% barrier for the first time since taking individual gold at the Rio Olympics in 2016
Hayley and husband Paul are expecting a baby girl next spring
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Suffolk-based Nikki enjoyed a successful international grand prix career with her popular mare Pasoa from 2010 to 2015, and was the test rider at the 2012 London Olympics. Breeding stallion Durable has taken over the mantle as her top horse in recent years, and Nikki also has an exciting colt by Durable out of Pasoa.
Don’t miss 31 December issue of H&H for a full report from the LeMieux National Grand Prix Championships, plus an exclusive column from Carl Hester.
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