Kitty King at the Le Lion 7yo World Championships

 

Vendredi Biats did a super test and tried incredibly hard, he was a little unsteady in his contact at the very start but settled throughout the test gaining confidence all the time. He scored a very competitive 45.4 which put us into 4th place going into the cross country.

Unfortunately the cross country didn’t quite go to plan. He gave me the most wonderful ride and found it all very easy and was cruising round easily on his minute markers. We had a very frustrating and annoying 20 penalties at box fence on four strides with a 90 degree turn to a chair with a drop. He jumped the first element really well and then we had a little steering malfunction to the chair. This was a huge shame as he had been super and really didn’t deserve a 20 on his score.

He trotted up really well on Sunday morning and flew through the trot up. We jumped in the afternoon and he felt fresh and on great form. He jumped the most immaculate clear and made the track feel like a pre novice. It was a great way to finish the event and although the day before didn’t quite go to plan and it cost us the silver medal I couldn’t be more pleased with how he performed overall and am really excited about next year with him.

For lots of great videos and pictures visit the website of Kitty King.

http://kittyking.co.uk/events/le-lion-7-year-old-world-championships/

Congratulations Pippa Funnell

What a great end to the season for Pippa Funnell, winning a Silver medal in 7yr old World Championships at Le Lion, with Nick and Barbara Walkinshaw’s Billy Walk On (Feale).
This young horse has had an exceptional season with Pippa and now he can look forwards to a very well earned Holiday.
This looked like an amazing event with some incredible crowds. Great education for such a promising young horse.
Congratulations Pippa and Billy Walk On.

Kitty King Osberton Blog

Image courtesy of Liz Knowler
Image courtesy of Liz Knowler

 

I had Vendredi Biats and Virage Des Falaises in the CICYH** 7 year old Championships, Drewmain Firefly in the 5 year old Championships and Billy Bounce in the CCI**.

Vendredi Biats did another polished and established test, he is getting better and better every time he goes in the arena. He scored a very competitive 42.7.

He then jumped an immaculate clear in the show jumping and made it feel easy.

The cross country had a few tough tests on it but he skipped round effortlessly and came home comfortably inside the time to finish on his dressage score in 3rd place. He now just has the Young Horse World Championships in France left at the end of October.

Virage Des Falaises is a little greener at this level but he tried incredibly hard and did a super job. He coped with the atmosphere well and did a lovely test to sit just outside the top ten on a 49.7.

He then jumped a brilliant clear in the show jumping and made it feel easy.

Although I went a little slower cross country than on Vendredi Biats as the course had a lot of questions on it for Virage Des Falaises due to him not having as much experience. He gave me a wonderful ride and felt very grown up and professional particularly through the waters and coffin. We picked up a few time faults to finish 12th.

Drewmain Firefly was very grown up all week and coped with his first stay away really well. Although green at this level he produced a lovely relaxed test to score 31.1.

He then jumped extremely well round the biggest show jumping test that he has seen and was very unlucky to have the last double down after we lost a bit of balance down the hill and ran a little deep.

He then had a very unfortunate 20 penalties early on the course after he slightly panicked jumping of a step so I couldn’t get him to the final element, although it was a shame he grew in confidence the whole way round and finished the course really well. It might not be the greatest result on paper but he learnt a huge amount from his week away and really enjoyed himself which bodes well for the future.

Billy Bounce did some lovely work in his test but made two frustrating mistakes towards the end of his test, we unfortunately changed behind in our last counter canter and broke in the second medium trot. The couple of mistakes then brought our collective marks down as well which was a huge shame. We scored 51.3.

Annoyingly cross country day didn’t quite go to plan either, Billy Bounce gave me a super ride round the whole course, but unfortunately we made a mistake at the second water. We left a leg at the log going in and this resulted in us getting a 20 penalties at the next element. Although it was hugely disappointing the most important thing was that he finished very happy and trotted up brilliantly the next day.

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Photos courtesy of Daniel Craig

After having our first cross country faults together on the Saturday it was then very annoying to also have our first show jump faults on the Sunday. Having jumped clear everywhere together this year I went into the show jumping feeling very confident. He jumped a great round and was very unlucky to have the front rail of an oxer down that ran down hill. Although it wasn’t the way we had planned to finish our first season together I feel we have both built a great partnership up and I am looking forwards to next year.

To watch the lovely videos of Kitty King at Osberton visit http://kittyking.co.uk/events/osberton-3/

Bonnie Fishburn reviews the Ti22

Back in August I had a parcel arrive in the post, sent to me by Champion. Well, I’ve had time to try it out and I can now reveal what was in the box. I was sent a Titanium Ti22 body protector to try out and see what I thought of it. They were launched at BETA earlier in the year. I have been very impressed with the Ti22 when using it at home for various things like hacking, jumping and cantering round the farm. But today was the first time I got to go across country wearing it. I got back from my round and thought to myself, how was the body protector? The answer is, I didn’t really notice I had it on, which has got to be a good thing.

The Ti22 body protector is comfortable to wear, it doesn’t interfere or restrict you when you’re riding, it is really breathable and it is really easy to adjust. So it’s a thumbs up from me.

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My Life Changing Encounter

Hi I’m Izzy Palmer, I’m 15 years old and a brand ambassador for Toggi and Champion.

 Firstly, I would like to tell you a bit about myself and my journey into para dressage.

I was born with cerebral palsy causing right hemiplegia, I first started riding when I was only two years old, initially it helped me with my balance and coordination but it soon became an obsession. My mum has always been a horsey person so I must have picked up the riding bug from her.

When I was 11 I was classified by the RDA as a grade 3 rider for para dressage and I began competing in para dressage in 2013 after being inspired by watching Sophie Wells MBE and Pinocchio at London 2012 Paralympic Games.

 I first met Sophie when I asked for a photo with her at a winter qualifier at the beginning of 2013, I was so excited (and nervous) to meet her, she was my biggest inspiration and my idol. At the para home international in 2013 she spotted me as one to watch in Horse and Hound and shortly after that Sophie offered to mentor me. For me this was so surreal and I couldn’t actually believe it. Since then Sophie has given me invaluable help, teaching, support and advice. She’s been there for me every step of the way, helping me with the ups and downs, while I’m growing up, juggling being on the world class programme and fitting this all around my school work! I think because Sophie had been through it herself she has a great understanding of what it’s like being young and managing it all.

  When I was 11 years old I was very lucky to get Coco, a 14.3hh Welsh thoroughbred, on loan from Alison Duck. Coco had spent 5 years in the field and had a foal, I never expected to achieve what I did with her… She is a one in a million pony!

 When we first began in 2013 we were the Para Talent Development Champions scoring 88% and we came first in the grade 3 class at the Para Home International. Coco and I also got onto the BEF excel talent programme that year, which was amazing!

  In 2014 we were the grade 3 restricted summer and winter national champions. We also came 7th out of a huge class in the medium restricted at the able bodied summer regionals and later on that year we were selected onto the world class programme, which was an incredible opportunity for me.

 In 2015 Coco and I came 4th in the grade 3 open class at Hickstead and won the team and individual test at bishop Burton CPEDI 2*, after bishop Burton Coco went home to retire, we had spent 3 incredible years together and she was 19. I was so lucky to be able to ride such a willing pony that just kept on giving, she will always hold a very special place in my heart!

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 Sophie then gave me the amazing opportunity to start riding her 2008 Beijing horse Touchdown. He is teaching me so much and I’m so grateful to Sophie for letting me ride such a super talented horse, he’s like the Ferrari of horses! He is absolutely adorable with big Googly eyes and lots of nicknames. Then in January 2016 I also began riding Pinocchio, Sophie’s London 2012 gold medal winning horse. This was so surreal and a dream come true for me. I am very grateful to Sophie and his owner Dr Jackie Walker for giving me the opportunity. We had to spend a bit of time getting to know each other and we have had an amazing year so far. In June we won the KBIS gold semi-final, which directly qualifies you for the KBIS final at the National Dressage Championships, which was very unexpected! I then did my first ever 3* international at Hartpury. We came second in the team test, first in the individual and second in my first ever freestyle… A lot of firsts for me!

 We then went to bishop Burton CPEDI3* at the end of July and won the grade 3 classes on all 3 days! Just recently we competed in the KBIS para class at the National Championships, it was a bit different to usual as Sophie wasn’t there with us as she was in Rio and it was the first time she hadn’t been to a competition with Noki in 7 years! We managed 2 training sessions over Skype from Rio which was fantastic, the power of technology hey! I’m so grateful to Sophie for giving up her time to help me whilst at such a prestigious event, it just shows how dedicated she is.

Noki and I competed on the Friday, I was very lucky and grateful to have world class coach Nina Venables there helping me in the warm up.  We scored 71.42% in the individual championship test and won the grade 3 national title (although we ended up being the only ones in it!) and we were third overall.

Now it’s on to qualifiers for the winter championships at the start of next year and world class podium potential selection trials for the 2016-2018 cycle (fingers crossed) also the proper school stuff starts, year 11 GCSEs here we come. (nooooo!!)

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Johnathan Bowman joins Team Champion as brand ambassador

Based at Leigh Farm on the outskirts of the Cotwolds, Johnathan Bowman is a true horse man, a talented showjumper and competitor and a respected and much sought after trainer and we’re delighted to announce that he has been selected to join Team Champion as brand ambassador.

Johnathan comments “I’m very aware that riding, and even more so Show Jumping is a risky sport. Although training of horse and rider and their management is instrumental in reducing these risks, having the right equipment is paramount. My parents have always been very strict about safety and this has filtered down and is central to everything that my staff, pupils and I do.  Being supported by a premium brand such as Champion, a brand that has saved the lives of countless horse riders and handlers, really gives me the opportunity to lead by example.”

Having taken up riding at an early age, Johnathan was spotted and supported by Pammy Hutton of The Talland School of Equitation who, along with her husband Brian, has been instrumental in Johnathan’s development as a rider.

Over the years Jonathan has placed great emphasis on continual training and education and has achieved his BHS AI and UKCC level 3 coaching qualifications, in addition to BS accreditation. Jonathan has also since started his own JB Academy for talented young show jumpers, which has now grown in size to over fifty riders who join up each year for training and improvement.

Pam Adams, our sales & marketing office manager here at Champion comments: “Jonathan struck us a serious competitor that puts the welfare of his horses and the safety of his students first, which fits perfectly with our philosophy at Champion. His dedication to training as the key to success shows a true commitment to excellence and we’re delighted to have him on board as a member of Team Champion.”

Johnathan rides competitively up to 1.50m level, both on his own horses and on horses for a selection of owners and his ultimate aim is to be selected for a Nation cup team. He also owns a selection of young horses who are being produced through the ranks and this, in addition to his teaching and training schedule, certainly keeps him busy throughout the year.

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Sophie Wells on top form at Hickstead

Sophie has had a dramatic few weeks, after a bad fall she had to take time off before the National Championships at Hickstead. But despite her pain and time off before the competition, Sophie, true to form went on to win 1st and 2nd place in both her classes. Taking both Reece and Jorge to Hickstead as part of her Rio 2016 campaign, Sophie did exceptionally well in both classes, despite a few silly mistakes from Reece in the first class. Sophie now has her sights firmly set on the Hartpury CPEDI & CDI where she will be riding Reece and Jorge in the Para International which is the last selection before Europeans, and Noki in the Senior Grand Prix. Good luck Sophie, from everyone at Toggi and Champion! Sophie1