Talented horse rider Alice Dymond-Andrews from Gillingham triumphed over equestrians from across the UK to win the 18 years and over Final of The British Horse Society National Riding Schools’ Championship held at Warwickshire College on 4 April 2013.
The unique competition, where no competitor owns their own horse, is run by The British Horse Society to encourage non-horse owners to ride and compete. Regional qualifiers are held at British Horse Society Approved Riding Centres across the UK with the top riders from each age group progressing forward to contest the national Finals.
The Championship comprises a dressage test, showjumping course and a set of equine related general knowledge questions and is enjoyed by riders of all ages, from 10 to 60 plus.
There was a bit of déjà vu for Alice, as this year’s title was her second riding school championship, having won the 13 years and under competition back in 2007.
“It’s just unbelievable,” said Alice who rode Shannon, a 17-year-old mare. “I really didn’t expect to win today. It’s really, really, lovely to come back here and win again.
“I haven’t ridden Shannon much,” she continues. “I don’t get much chance to ride because I’m saving for University at the moment, so to come here today and to win with her has just been incredible.”
Alice is taught by Helen Barton Smith at Pippin Equestrian in Dorset. She said: “It’s such a wonderful competition. These are the people that don’t get the opportunity to compete and the excitement in the yard in the build up to this day is unbelievable. It gives them a real chance to have a go at succeeding at something, it’s just great.”
Lynn Petersen, Chief Executive of The British Horse Society was thrilled that the riders had got so much out of the day. She said: “This is such a special competition for us because it brings together people who love horses but simply cannot afford one with our BHS riding schools who do so much to fulfil the hopes and dreams of young people and adults alike.”
Full results are available on the BHS website www.bhs.org.uk
Lessons are available at Pippin Equestrian, contact 01747 822997 or www.pippinequestrian.co.uk