‘Now is her time’: new star comes to the fore in Arab championship at the RIHS

  • A Royal International Horse Show (RIHS) debutante took top honours in the O’Donnell Family RIHS pure-bred ridden Arabian championship, despite only being in her second season as a ridden horse.

    Georgina Rees was in the saddle of her own 10-year-old mare Bellflower, who became judge Richard Mills’ choice for the title in a quality field of nine entries.

    While it was Bellflower’s first time stepping onto Hickstead soil, today also marked Georgina’s first-ever RIHS victory.

    “I’ve never even ridden an Arab at Hickstead, so this is all new to me,” Georgina confirmed.

    By Psalm out of Wentworth Estate Bellissima, Bellflower was described by Georgina as a “later starter.”

    “We got her when she was a five-year-old and she was started last season as a novice; this year seems to be her time, and she’s stepped into her own,” said Georgina, who qualified the home-produced mare for Horse of the Year Show (HOYS) at Royal Norfolk in June. “She’s got such natural ring presence, she’s a beautiful mover and she’s a lovely ride.”

    Georgina, who lives in Henley-on-Thames, shares the ride on Bellflower with Darren Crowe, depending on who she has on the lorry.

    “I also have a gelding, who is also off to HOYS this year, so it depends who I take to a show on who I will ride; I’m glad I decided to ride her today, though,” she said. “I can see why people come back to this show year after year; what an experience we’ve had.”

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