Sixteen-year-old Lily Freeman-Attwood is on a roll. She and the nine-year-old Karibou Horta have only been together for six weeks, but they have already racked up two consecutive international wins, making them a very exciting British combination for the year ahead.
Lily and “Horton” came out on top of a 40-strong two-star class at the Glock Horse Performance Centre in Treffen, Austria, today (2 February) after a smooth, fast round provided a time nobody else was able to catch.
“He was amazing — he’s so naturally careful, and fast, and I can trust him to jump anything,” said Lily, whose win followed victory in the under-25 grand prix at Amsterdam last weekend.
“This is only our third show together — our first one was just two weeks ago. I’m slowly learning what buttons to push and how he goes; how forward I need to be and when to hold him.”
A former medallist for Britain in pony ranks, Lily made the move to base herself out in Normandy, France, with her trainer Guy Williams at the beginning of this year.
“I’ve finished school now and I’m liking it out in France, although mum’s a bit upset!” joked Lily.
“When I stopped ponies at the end of last year we started looking for horses and I tried about 15. Horton is perfect for me and we knew he was the one straight away,” she added of the Belgian warmblood gelding who was previously competed by Belgium’s Jos Verlooy.
“We struggled a little with him right at the beginning as he is very spooky at home, but at shows he’s completely different and just does his job really well.”
This year is the first time the Glock Horse Performance Centre has held its indoor show at five-star level, and the line-up for the top classes includes Britain’s John Whitaker (Casantos and JB’s Hot Stuff), Robert Whitaker (Catwalk IV, El Wee Widge and Major Delacour), Guy Williams (Cicero II and Native Warrior), Laura Renwick (Bintang II and Dublin V) and Scott Brash (Hello Jefferson, Hello Senator and Hello M’Lord).
For the full report from Glock’s, don’t miss the next issue of Horse & Hound, out on 7 February.