Rising dressage star Myles Graham showed age is no barrier to success.
The nine-year-old and his 13.2hh pony Heavenly High Jinx — known as Jinx to his friends — put in three stellar performances to bag two top-10 finishes.
Myles, who is nearly 10, finished fifth in the preliminary silver on 70.42% before heading outside to produce a cracking test in the first round of the novice bronze Area Festival final for a score of 70.6%.
The diminutive pair followed this up with 69.78% in the second round, taking equal fourth overall.
“He felt like he was trying really hard, but not using all of his energy as he was saving some in case he got through to the second round,” said a clearly delighted Myles after his novice first round test.
“We both tried our hardest.”
Myles added Jinx enjoys dressage as well as jumping and his favourite tit-bits are “minty treats and carrots”. The pair also enjoy apple-bobbing together.
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While we chat, Jinx is snoozing in the spring sunshine.
The 15-year-old gelding, by Longslade Superman, came to Myles last year following the tragic sudden loss of his old pony.
The combination have clicked and their successes so far include second in the British Riding Clubs junior novice winter dressage championships with a score of 71.09% earlier this month.
The Swindon Riding Club member cited Phoebe Peters and Charlotte Dujardin as his idols and managed to catch a quick photo with the Olympic medallist.
Myles, who also enjoys tennis, football and hockey, revealed his dream is to ride at the very top of the sport.
“I want to go to the Olympics,” he beamed.
For a full report from the British Dressage Winter Championships and the Area Festival final — as well as news, views and expert comment — pick up a copy of Thursday’s (20 April) Horse & Hound