POYS PREVIEW 2024

Wednesday 27 March 2024

POYS PREVIEW 2024

All roads for Pony and Young Riders lead to Arena UK in Grantham, for Easter week at the annual Pony of the Year Show.  Now evolved as a Youth Festival for riders and a highlight of the showjumping calendar, POYS opens its doors for four action-packed days of fun, camaraderie and great sport.

With a range of coveted prizes plus over £40,000 in prize money on offer, the draw to win prestigious Grand Prix titles brings in the best of talent from the length and breadth of the country.  POYS – now in its 26th year – moved to its new home at Arena UK four years ago, utilising the vast space of indoor and outdoor arenas, hard-standing lorry and car parking and permanent and temporary stabling, and trade stands with equine wares, food and photographs to record your memories.  

ClipMyHorseTV are also in attendance for the four days and, for those who cannot attend in person, you can catch all the action for free on the British Showjumping website at: https://www.britishequestriansport.tv/Home/Index

The all-encompassing schedule caters for everyone, from diminutive 11-year-old and under riders to Under 18 and Under 25 competitors and heights from 80cm to 1.40m, including Mini, Intro and JC ponies to 128cm, 138cm and 148cm JA classes.

Many riders have come through the ranks of POYS and gone on to greater things – including reigning Olympic champion Ben Maher and current Royal International Horse Show King George V Gold Cup winner Robert Whitaker.

Hotly contended initial qualifying competitions lead to the pinnacle of the week – the prestigious Grand Prix titles.  Claiming glory at the top of the podium is always hard-fought with the groundwork starting months beforehand for those few moments in a lap of honour euphoria.  Former winners of the JA and Young Rider titles include Pony and Junior European medallists Tabitha Kyle and Claudia Moore.

So, who is hoping to be in line to be crowned champion this year?

Claudia Moore, 19, recent winner of the 3* Grand Prix on the Moura Tour in Valencia, Spain, will bid for another title as will 2023 Under 25 champion and winner of last year’s HOYS Foxhunter Final, Allana Clutterbuck.

Three-time 2023 champion Lucia Caroline – winner of the 128cm, 11 and Under Final and the Talentspotters Championship – is aiming to make a winning return with three rides, including her 128cm Champion Living The Dream.  

Ella Kay, winner of three major 128cm titles in 2023, including Horse of the Year Show, British Showjumping Championships National 128cm title and the London International Horse Show, has now stepped up to 138cm and 148cm ponies and hopes to add to her already impressive tally.  POYS 138cm Champion Raphaela Dawson has a busy four days ahead with six ponies at this show, including her 2023 Champion Ardnacashel Little Dreamer.

Rosie Smith, a well-deserved winner of the Winter Children-on-Horses Final at the British Showjumping Spring Championships, returns to Arena UK this week aiming for more glory with her mother Holly’s usual rides Azolette and Fruselli.

Popular Royal International 128cm Champion Annabel Widdowson lines up with her team of 128cm ponies while Robert Whitaker’s daughter Evie is hoping to follow in her father’s footsteps.

Double HOYS winner Hollie Gerken – current Leading Pony Showjumper of the Year and 138cm Champion – brings four ponies to Arena UK with the focus on adding more to her titles list  Katie Bradburne, winner of the Blue Chip Pony Newcomers Championship at last year’s Horse of the Year Show and winner of the POYS 2023 95cm Championships is gunning for another title, while Keira Merriman is another 2023 champion aiming for glory with three rides, including her POYS Introductory Final winner Cassi De L’Abdenaie.

POYS 2023 Pony 1.10m champion Jamie Lim-Goulder hopes to make a winning return as does 2023 Children-on-Horses titleholder Sienna Lanni along with her sister Coco.  Other former championship winners include 2023 Mini Champion Ellin Gifford, 2021 148cm JA Champion Henry Squibb with three rides targeting the Young Riders and 2021 138cm winner Ruby Barrs is also a Young Rider contender.

The exciting, popular show is promising fierce competition and fast-paced action.  Don’t miss it!  Catch every moment on British Showjumping’s British Equestrian Sport TV between 27 March and 1 April at: https://www.britishequestriansport.tv/Home/Index. Powered by ClipMyHorse.TV.

Photo credit SBM Photographic

 
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