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Kelsey Love had to endure a long wait before she could complete her showjumping round at the Horse & Hound Grassroots Eventing Championships at Keysoe today (29 May).

Riding her own 13-year-old throughbred X Cleveland Bay chestnut mare, Castle House Gem, Kelsey jumped an immaculate clear round to hold on to top spot in the 90cm section.

“The pressure was horrible,” laughed Kelsey, who is 19 years old. “I’ve felt sick all day having to wait until this afternoon for my turn to jump and I’ve never had to deal with pressure like it before.”

Kelsey didn’t have any room for error, going into the final phase on her dressage score of 25.5, which was the same score as her nearest rival, Tinky Morris and Snow, who had already jumped clear.

“I didn’t expect to win at all,” said Kelsey who rides full-time, specialising in retraining racehorses. “I was hoping to be placed but it was very much a case of taking things as they come.”

‘Ruby’ was purchased by Kelsey, who is based in Eye, Suffolk, in October 2015.

“She hadn’t evented prior to me buying her,” said Kelsey. “But it all clicked a year ago and she’s felt on great form ever since we arrived here.”

The 90cm championship was a closely fought competition from start to finish and just 1.5 penalties separated the top five horses and riders on the final day.

Don’t miss next week’s issue of Horse & Hound for a full report from the Horse & Hound Grassroots Eventing Championships