Izabella Rogers completed a hat-trick of 2021 titles by taking the Robinsons Equestrian pony Foxhunter title at HOYS.
The 13-year-old and Neil 55 jumped one of only two double clears in the Andrews Bowen international arena, taking the win from Marni McMym and Hoofprint Caleb with over two seconds to spare.
Izabella and Neil, who won the Oakley Coachbuilders winter JC final at the Royal International (RIHS) in July, and the pony Foxhunter masters at the British Showjumping National Championships, were ninth out of 12 in the jump-off, by which time their plan had changed.
“My trainer told me the ways to go and I agreed, but then we found out no one had gone clear so we changed our tactics,” she said.
Izabella opted not to take the very tight inside turn to the big oxer at the start of the penultimate line, instead taking advantage of the Tangelo Van De Zuuthoeve gelding’s powerful stride to ride a beautiful outside curve.
This left the option for others to turn inside — but no one who made all the turns also left all the fences up.
“I did wonder after I’d finished but I knew I’d put the pressure on the others,” she said.
“I’m beyond proud, there are no words to describe how elated I am. I’ve had the pony just over a year and we’ve just grown and grown in trust.”
Izabella won the 2018 128cm championship at HOYS on Whinney Lass, on whom her sister Sophia won the Pony Of The Year winter 128cm final at RIHS this year.
“I’ve jumped here before but I’m so proud of the way Neil took it all on, with the atmosphere, the lights, the arena,” she said. “I just trust him; he doesn’t really care what he jumps, as long as he jumps. He loves his job.”
Izabella is due to contest the 138cm championship tomorrow on Sharman Sundance.
You might also be interested in:
Horse & Hound magazine, out every Thursday, is packed with all the latest news and reports, as well as interviews, specials, nostalgia, vet and training advice. Find how you can enjoy the magazine delivered to your door every week, plus options to upgrade your subscription to access our online service that brings you breaking news and reports as well as other benefits.