‘I hadn’t sat on him for two weeks’: rider juggles exams and jumping to take Royal Windsor under-25 win

  • ANTONIA Platt juggled conflicting priorities with flair to claim the Defender under 25 grand prix at Royal Windsor, despite not having sat on her winning ride Marvin Van De Waterhoeve for two weeks.

    The 21-year-old had been sitting university exams in Nottingham, where she is studying agriculture, but was able to shift focus to this exacting class, where she topped a six-strong jump off by 1.62sec.

    “I rode him at Chepstow and then drove straight from there to University to sit my end of year exams. I literally didn’t sit on him til this morning,” Antonia said.

    “My mum [Rosalind] has done a fantastic job keeping him going — she’s my work rider! There’s some real team work between me and her. My mum and dad are both incredibly supportive.”

    Charles sisters Sienna — winner at Royal Windsor last year —and Scarlett made the job look easy when they opened the first round with two consecutive clears on Stardust and I Am Jordan. But there was a long wait before four others eventually joined them in the second phase.

    Also opening the jump off, they delivered competitive clean sheets that meant the remainder of the field would have to push against the clock.

    Hollie Pearce (James O Hara H) axed 0.38sec from Sienna’s target to overtake the lead, with Antonia then jumping the only other faultless round, finding significant advantage with her big-striding 12-year-old gelding.

    “When I walked the first round I thought it would take some jumping,” Antonia said. “But my horse warmed up really nicely, I had a plan and knew my distances, felt prepared and he was great.

    “In the jump off, I did watch Sienna go. She did eight strides from two to three, and I went on seven. I made the time up there and with a good turn back to the vertical at four.

    “He’s a really nice horse with lots of blood, jump and scope and he is my best friend — that’s so cheesy but I really do adore him.”

    This partnership of three years were more than experienced enough for this class, having competed up to 1.60m, in 3* grands prix and on young rider teams.

    “We’ll be aiming for Hickstead 4* next and go from there,” Antonia said. “The plan is to just keep moving up and trying to get some rankings points.”

    You may 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.

    You may like...