Ones to watch: Britain’s top under-25 showjumpers heading to Royal Windsor *H&H Plus*

  • The country’s leading under-25 riders have been invited to take centre stage at Royal Windsor on Sunday for a showcase national competition. Jennifer Donald meets some of the contenders

    Will Edwards (21)

    Horse: 11yo SHW Candies B (Chacco-Blue x Heartbreaker), owned by Carl Edwards.

    “Anybody can ride her – a train could go past and she wouldn’t flinch – but as soon as she sees a fence, she turns into a hot, feisty mare. I only ever jump her at home the day before a show and no bigger than 1.10m, otherwise it’s just hacking. When you go in the ring, you know that you’re going to be there or thereabouts. The bigger the occasion, the better she is.”

    Previous Windsor form: “I’ve never jumped there, but it’s a fantastic opportunity to compete in a five-star arena with a five-star course-builder and atmosphere.”

    About Will: “At home we have a whole system for bringing through young horses, like we did with Candies. I probably ride seven or eight horses per day, a variety of younger and older ones. I had a good show at Keysoe recently, but will be keeping things pretty quiet with Candies before Windsor.”

    Aims: “The number one goal is the young rider Europeans, then anything after that would be a bonus. I’d definitely like to win a grand prix.”

    Amy Inglis (24)

    Horse: TBC at the time of going to press.

    Windsor form: “I competed at Windsor for the first time four years ago. This will be my first time back since and I’m very much looking forward to it. It’s not often you get the opportunity to compete at such a beautiful venue and I absolutely love the setting. There is nothing to beat it. It would mean everything to win on home turf at such a prestigious event.”

    About Amy: “I currently am based at Broxmead Farm with my boyfriend Michael Duffy. We have 20 horses in; they vary from youngsters to grand prix horses. We are lucky to have such incredible talent on the yard. I have just spent two weeks away competing in France and Denmark – our first time abroad this year. It was great to get out to these lovely shows after being at home longer than we would have liked thanks to Covid, Brexit and EHV-1.”

    Aims: “I hope to continue representing my country at the highest level possible. Senior championships are the dream.”

    Joe Fernyhough (20)

    Horse: TBC but either 12yo Gurtera Cara Dubh (by VDL Arkansas), owned by Rose Hollinshead, or 11yo home-bred Calcourt Quicktime (Westpoint Quickfire x Larino) owned by Rowland Fernyhough.

    Windsor form: “I jumped in the national classes in 2019. It’s a great opportunity to be able to compete, technically, at the same five-star show as the calibre of riders there, including Steve Guerdat and Scott Brash, and yet still be competitive in a class aimed at my level. My dad [Rowland Fernyhough] actually won the grand prix there and the Olympic trial, so it would be great to add my name to some of the silverware, too.”

    About Joe: “We breed mainly. Our horses have the Calcourt prefix and we’ve sold several that have gone on to jump abroad at the top level. So we have a lot of young horses and it can be quite hard going from riding skitty, novicey ones to jumping 1.50m at the weekends. We have 20 to 25 horses in work and my dad trains me, although I have been for a dressage lesson recently with Charlotte Dujardin.”

    Aims: “I’m very realistic but if there was any chance of getting right to the top, that would be my ambition. But it’s difficult to get access to the calibre of horse you need at five-star. I’d like to go as high as I can and win as much as I can along the way, while hopefully producing nice horses.”

    Phoebe Farman (15)

    Horse: 12yo Caruso D’Eres Z (Calvaro Z x Radiator), owned by Phoebe’s mother Tracy Priest.

    “He’s incredible to ride. As soon as I jumped a cross-pole on him, I knew he was going to be my favourite horse ever. Mum got him when he was five and competed him for three years, but I always wanted to ride him and he’s now my best friend. He’s quirky at home and can be spooky, but as soon as he’s in the ring he’s on it.”

    Windsor form: “I’ve never competed there but I’ve been every year because Mum always jumped there. I’ve always wanted to do it, too, so it’s amazing to be given the opportunity.”

    About Phoebe: “I’ve been competing in seniors for three years, but jumping against more experienced riders can be challenging. It does make you perform better though. We have eight horses in at home, but I’ve had exams recently, which is hard because normally I’m competing every weekend. But I just love showjumping so much that I make it work.”

    Aims: “I never really did ponies but I’m going back to it now. I’d love to do pony Nations Cups and pony Europeans. That’s a big aim. With horses, I’d love to do the junior Europeans. So a lot of goals! I like to be ambitious, so you always have something to dream about.”

    Jack Ryan

    Horse: TBC but maybe 9yo Sjelle (Stolzenberg x Le Primeur).

    “He won an under-25 class in Italy recently, so hopefully he can do well.”

    Windsor form: “This is my first time, but Windsor is a great name, a prestigious show. I see on the five-star list there are some good riders going, so to watch those riders in the ring and warming up their horses is an excellent opportunity.”

    About Jack: “I’ve been based with Shane Breen since November 2019 and have training from him. I have two horses of my own and the rest I ride for Shane. We’ll be doing Hickstead the week before, then going straight to Windsor.”

    Aims: “Everything is going well so far and my horse BBS McGregor just had a time-fault in a recent three-star grand prix. I’m really excited about him, so hopefully we’ll do a few bigger grands prix towards the end of the year.”

    Freya Hough (21)

    Horse: 13yo Ideal III (Der Senaat x Sioux De Baugy) owned by Henrietta Hough.

    “He is an absolute dream to ride and own, he knows no wrong. He’s incredibly laid-back but comes to life when a show has a bit more atmosphere. He likes a crowd.”

    Windsor form: “I competed there when I was younger in the schools and the Pony Club classes, so it’s nice to be back for a bigger class in the main ring. I am looking forward to coming back to such a prestigious show with the crowds and stands. Hopefully, it will have its usual fantastic atmosphere that shows have been lacking due to Covid restrictions. It would be an incredible class to win, simply due to the prestige of the show, but also on a five-star grand prix day surrounded by the best riders who, as young riders, you look up to.”

    About Freya: “I have been based at the Billy Stud with William and Pippa Funnell since January, which has been incredible. I have two horses: Ideal III and a super-talented six-year-old, Karezzo. We have been to Herts County, South of England and will be doing Hickstead in preparation for Windsor. Ideal was placed in both area trials, which has hopefully set us up nicely for the under-25s.”

    Aims: “I’m aiming Ideal at the young rider and under-25 classes and then would love to try to qualify for the under-25s at Olympia at the end of the year.”


    This feature can also be read in Horse & Hound magazine, on sale date 24 June 2021

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