A Stoke Ash rider who was “terrified” when first riding her own horse has earned her spot in one of the most prestigious events on the equestrian calendar.
Jenny Welham, 25, will take part at the Horse of the Year Show (HOYS) at the Birmingham NEC from October 7 to 11, in the finals of the SEIB Insurance Brokers Search for a Star Championship.
It came after an event staged at Houghton Hall Equestrian Centre, in Cambridgeshire, on May 10.
Welham’s qualification for HOYS, which was booked after riding her own horse, Jays Remembrance, to second place in the Cob class, marks an amazing turnaround after buying the nine-year-old, also known as Remi, four-and-a-half years ago.
“For the first year I owned Remi I was convinced that buying him had been a huge mistake,” she explained. “I rode him and he absolutely terrified me so I put him in the field for a year and didn’t ride him.”
Gradually Welham, who works as residential childcare worker in south west Norfolk, started to ride Remi again and by 2013 the pair were competing at county shows.
“We then started doing some in-hand showing and took it from there.
“I am just over the moon to be going to HOYS. We don’t have our own transport so the number of shows we can go to is quite limited and we like to make the most of it when we can go”.
n Meanwhile Sofia Scott, who lives and works in Edinburgh but will be riding a Blo’ Norton horse, will also appear at HOYS later this year after qualification from the same event.
Scott, 22, who took first place in the Racehorse to Riding Horse class Riding Paul Rackham’s 13 year-old bay gelding, Bridgham, said she was “over the moon” with the result.
“Bridgham is a wonderful horse and really loves his showing, I am delighted to be going to HOYS with him,” she added.
The pair plan to head to the racehorse class at Hickstead next month and will also compete in side-saddle classes.