#BestofBolesworth: who won what on Wednesday at the national championships? *H&H Plus*

  • Two young riders take a national title apiece as the competition hots up at the British Showjumping national championships at Bolesworth. H&H talks to the winners...

    Tabitha Kyle continued her superb recent form yesterday (5 August) by retaining her 138cm championship title on Playboy Van De Zoetewei, beating herself on LissDuff Royal into second place by a second and a half.

    Tabitha, who was fresh from winning four grands prix in one day at her first post-lockdown international show, in France on 26 July, said that the 138 championship track was smaller in the first round than she would have liked.

    “I prefer the jumps bigger as the ponies jump better, but the jump-off was better; quite big and the course suited me.

    “I was first to go in the jump-off and thought I’d done a good enough round for people to try to beat it and put them under pressure — I did get beaten on time but both people had a fence down, so it paid off.”

    Tabitha said had she had to choose which of her three rides in the class would win — she also finished seventh on Mister Proper — she would have picked nine-year-old Playboy.

    “He had a really good winning streak last year and I’d like that to continue,” she said.

    Tabitha Kyle and Playboy Van De Zoetewei

    Eleanor Archibald kept her cool to take the national 128cm final on Pondhead Dexter in fine style. The 11-year-old and Nicola Rogers’ 15-year-old gelding “Alfie” won from second draw in a competitive nine-combination jump-off.

    “He’s a gem of a pony,” said proud mum Emily. “We’ve been very lucky to have the ride on him; he’s a super little character who gives his all, always wants to please and tries his hardest.”

    Emily said Alfie had helped Eleanor step up to the bigger tracks, “taking them on with gusto”.

    “She rode beyond her years,” Emily added. “She stayed calm and didn’t get flustered, we’re so proud of her. She adores Alfie, and I think he feels the same about her.”

    Eleanor added that the compact gelding can sometime struggle with distances if she does not “attack” certain fences.

    “I just wanted to get through the start and finish,” she said. “I didn’t expect the win as we’ve been doing lockdown and haven’t been allowed out, so it was amazing. I’m so lucky to have him.”

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