Nottinghamshire based showjumper Graham Gillespie took the top honours in the Dodson & Horrell and the World Class Programme Under 23 Championship qualifier at Aintree Equestrian Centre, Liverpool this weekend (Saturday 17 October 2015). The former Children on Horses European gold medallist lined up against fifty four starters all looking for their chance to collect qualifying points for the exciting series final which is hosted in the electric atmosphere of Olympia, The London International Horse Show on Saturday 19 December 2015.
Riding Laura Kraut’s Reve de Bacon, 21 year old Gillespie was one of just five combinations to produce a double clear round over the up to height David Cole course. A close competition went down to the wire as Gillespie and the 10 year old Reve de Bacon stopped the clock in a time of 41.87 seconds with Harry Charles on Mr John Roberts and Mrs Olga White’s Stapleton Mist just 0.12 seconds behind them to claim second place.
UK Sport National Lottery funded World Class Podium Potential riders Mille Allen (with Udo Oppermann’s Balou Star), Emma O’Dwyer (with Royne Zetterman AB’s Echo de Laubry) and Pippa Allen (with Mr John McGeoch’s Hope Springs) along with Rebecca Marsh (with Martin Dawes’ Nelson Z) completed the top six, all receiving Training Vouchers, with the top ten places taking qualifying points.
Through the qualifiers and an accumulation of points, riders aim to qualify for the final, which takes place at the London International Horse Show, Olympia in December. There was a total prize fund of £1650 for the qualifier, and Training Vouchers to the value of £725.00 awarded to the first six prize-winning riders currently eligible for British Team Selection.
The showjumping U23 British Championships are jointly sponsored by feed merchant Dodson & Horrell and the BEF’s World Class Programme.
Dodson & Horrell Ltd has grown to become Europe's leading horse feed manufacturer and a highly respected authority on animal nutrition and feed the world-over. Dodson & Horrell has a long history of support in equestrian sports across all levels, from its sponsorship of British Dressage and British Showjumping, Riding Club and Pony Club events and over 25 years of support for Point-to-Point racing to title sponsorship of the iconic Chatsworth International Horse Trials. As Royal Warrant holder and official supplier of nutrition to Equestrian Team GBR, Dodson & Horrell will play a pivotal advisory role in the lead up to next year’s Olympics.
The World Class Programme aims to provide Britain’s elite riders with the best preparation to represent Equestrian Team GBR on the International stage and is funded by Lottery and Exchequer funds via UK Sport.