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Trailblazers Reaches New Heights

It was all there! The Permanent Show Organisers Association and South Essex Insurance Brokers Trailblazer national championships had it all - thrills, joy, fun and the successes that came from persistence and faith in favourite horses and ponies.

Nearly 1,000 riders, who had all earned their places in local qualifying rounds, were at the National Agricultural Centre, Stoneleigh, Warwickshire, most of them at their first national final.

"We designed the series for the estimated 200,000 leisure riders who compete for fun," said Permanent Show Organiser spokesman Norman Bargh. "Last year, for the first championships, we thought we had it right. This year proved it."

Riders like the 85cms senior champion, Paula Clinton, whose horse, Jungle Getaway, was destined for the abattoir but was saved with her holiday money; Louise Scanes, who came back from a broken collar bone earlier in the year and still rode her Fred Astair into the 75cms senior championship; senior dressage novice joint champion Gill Jackson, who went to Trailblazers on her way to the Riding Clubs Championship; James Sorrell, reserve champion in the junior preliminary dressage, who broke his back earlier in the year and spent eight weeks away from horses.

South Essex sales and marketing manager, Nicolina MacKenzie, said: "We have always felt that the strength of the equestrian world is in the dedicated amateurs, the people who ride for leisure and pleasure, which is why we support Trailblazers. After this year's championship show, we know we are right."

Many of the riders were returning for their second year, and for 13-years-old Tayah Barrs, from Freshford, near Bath, it was literally second time lucky. "I was here last year but my pony went lame. This year Sir Humphrey, who is 22, was wonderful." Tayah, who competes for the Wylye Valley Pony Club in the Prince Philip Games, won the 75cms junior championship.

Zoe Duck, 16, from Brimpton, Reading, took the ride on Pancho from her sister, Emily, and won the Elementary junior championship. Pancho earned a championship last year.

Championship results


Preliminary, Snr.- 1, Julie Birchall (Falicon Royal Sovereign); 2, Jo Doncaster (Northern Gold); 3, Audrey Caporali (Windsor). Jnr.- 1, Lucy Cartwright (Willoway Thomas); 2, James Sorrell (Mexican Tango); 3, Molly Johnstone (Shandy).

Novice, Snr.- =1, Julie Birchall (Falicon Royal Sovereign) and Gill Harrison (Jack Frost); 3, Cara Shadlow (Primitive Touch). Jnr.- 1, Harriet Whewell (Mr Toad); 2, Kim Seaby (Ryfeside Verdi); 3, Jessica Dun (Harry Hassit).

Elementary, Snr.- Gill Harrison (Jack Frost); 2, Anna Levy (Shenka's Gamble); 3, Vicky Brook (Danson Park). Jnr.- Zoe Duck (Pancho); 2, Pippa Hunn (Slightly Spellbound); 3, Gemma Abram (Josh).


75cms, Jnr - 1, Tayah Barrs (Sir Humphrey); 2, Ruth Whitmore (Prince Edward); 3, Mandy Brown (Heather).

75cms Snr. - 1, Caroline Wilkinson (Roxy Royalle); 2, Sally McNaughton (Joe); 3, Louise Scanes (Fred Astaire)

85cms, Snr.- 1, Paula Clinton (Jungle Getaway); 2, Tanya Wainwright (Monalee); 3, Vicky Tulloch (Dutch Melody). Jnr.- 1, Jenny Ripley (Sky); 2, Lucy Brunton (Magic Moments); 3, Jessica Watson (Kilkenny Lad).

95cms, Snr.- 1, Amy Wall (Cleo); 2, Georgie Hibberd (Miss Ellie); 3, Kim Fenn (Pepzi Max). Jnr.- Emma Tideswell (Fleur); 2, Stephanie Jaworski (Prince); 3, Nicky Baker (Tollerhayes Bonxie)

1.05m, Snr.- 1, Amy Wall (Cleo); 2, Kim Fenn (Pepzi Max); 3, Julia Biddle (Victor). Jnr.- 1, Heledd Thomas (Napoleon); 2, Amanda Cole (Frankie); 3, Heledd Thomas (Fly).


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