World Class Development rider, Abigail Newbery riding Ali Ghandour’s Lancelot TN took the honours in the first qualifying competition at Bury Farm Equestrian Club in Leighton Buzzard, Buckinghamshire for the World Class Programme U23 British Championship Final that will take place at the London International Horse Show, Olympia in December 2013.
The competition, which is open to riders aged 23 years or under, attracted 23 entries that produced five clear rounds from Abigail, Emma Stoker, Jessica Mendoza, Kerry Brennan and the current Champion Emily Ward, over an up to height technical course built by Paul Connor.
In the jump-off Abigail and Emma again produced clear rounds, with Abigail taking the win in a time of 35.79 seconds, nearly a second over Emma’s time of 36.65 seconds. Jessica was quickest of all the riders in the jump-off posting 33.04 seconds but, with a fence down, finished third.
There was a total prize fund of £1650 at this qualifier, with the winner receiving £550 in prize money, and Training Vouchers to the value of £725.00, awarded to the first six prize-winning riders who are currently eligible for British Team Selection.
Corinne Bracken, Junior and Young Rider Chef d’Equipe, who watched the class, commented, “It was terrific to see such a healthy turn out of young riders on a cold night at Bury Farm to jump in the first qualifying competition, over a challenging course that produced five clear rounds. Abigail Newbery, who was first to go in the jump-off showed the same level of skill that produced an individual bronze medal at last year’s Junior European Championships, jumping a clear round in a time that proved unbeatable when the riders that followed her tried to leave the fences up”.
A maximum of twenty-four riders will qualify for the Championship final with all qualified competitors 23rd birthday falling on or after the 1st January in the same year as the Championship final. The top seventeen horse and rider combinations will come forward from the qualifying competitions, based on league points accumulated from each horse/rider combinations best four results from the six qualifying competitions. Points will only be awarded to riders who are currently eligible for British Team selection.
Five horse and rider combinations from the 2013 British Young Rider European Team will automatically qualify by right and in addition to the maximum of twenty-two horse/rider combinations qualified through the above process, two wild card qualification places will be awarded, whose decision will be made by the World Class Programme Performance Manager, Rob Hoekstra. The number of wild card selections will only be increased if required to fill the quota of twenty-four places at the final.
The World Class Development Programme is Lottery and Exchequer funded via UK Sport, and seeks to identify and develop talented athletes who have shown the potential to reach the world stage. The Programme underpins World Class Performance and, together with the Equine Pathway, they comprise the Equestrian World Class Programme, incorporating the three Olympic sports of dressage, eventing and showjumping, and the Paralympic sport of para-equestrian dressage.
The Programmes work closely with the three British Equestrian Federation Olympic Member Bodies; British Dressage, British Eventing and British Showjumping, whose own training and competition programmes work hand in hand with the programmes run within World Class.
There will be a further five qualifying competitions in the series: - Arena UK 14th – 17th February, The Hand Equestrian Centre, 28th – 31st March and three during September and November 2013. These dates will be available on the British Showjumping website in due course.
For more information on showjumping, please visit the British Showjumping website