Flying start to championships for Tabitha Kyle and new ride in pony Foxhunter final *H&H Plus*

  • Find out more about the new partnership and where the combination saved valuable seconds in the competitive pony Foxhunter championship on Friday evening...

    Tabitha Kyle and Teagan-Arla Rose cruised to victory in the pony Foxhunter championship on the third day of the British Showjumping Indoor Championship Finals at Aintree International Equestrian Centre (9 October).

    Tabitha, who has 11 entries from nine rides this week, got her championship campaign off to a winning start with the 10-year-old mare.

    Teagan-Arla Rose, previously campaigned by Shaunie Greig, joined Tabitha’s string in February and the pair have spent lockdown establishing their partnership.

    Tabitha credited the help her mum, Tanya, has given her with the pony as well as the work Shaunie put into her for the mare’s recent success.

    “Mum has really helped take the next step with her in her flatwork,” said Tabitha, who is riding the pony for owner Lance Mcdonald ahead of his granddaughter, Connie Mensley, taking over the reins.

    “She already has the scope and is such a good jumper. Sometimes on the flat she can be a bit busy, but Mum has been a big help in getting her right.”

    First to go in the eight-strong jump-off was Rachel Proudley and Okehurst Sunrise, who set the standard with a clear round in a time of 41.66 seconds.

    Tabitha was next in on another of her rides, the grey Lickaun Lady, tipping a pole at the fourth fence — the lamp-post oxer on a right-handed roll-back.

    Jake Myers and bright bay Oakley III took over the lead with a forward, flowing clear, shaving six seconds off Okehurst Sunrise’s time and setting a new goal post of 35.5 seconds.

    Competitors faced a nail-biting wait as Tabitha warmed up Teagan-Arla Rose. The pair’s neat, accurate turns helped them save even more valuable seconds, with just one sticky moment at the same lamp-post oxer in an otherwise masterful round. Taking a stride out to the last, the pair stopped the clock in 33.34 seconds.

    “Messing up the turn to that oxer gave me the opportunity to cut inside a few fences to the double and the round went really well after that,” said Tabitha, adding the mare is “so sweet and kind”.

    “She’s very good with her turns, but I can’t move too quickly on the ground otherwise she gets flat.

    “I really enjoyed the course, I wasn’t keen on the two uprights at the beginning, but I could speed up a bit towards the end, which I liked.”

    Jake and Oakley claimed the runner-up spot, with last to go Thomas Bradburne and the eye-catching dapple grey Derryinver Rocky third in 38.73 seconds.

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