Seventeen year old Isabella Innes Ker pulled out all the stops over the weekend to make the eighteen hour round-trip worthwhile from the Scottish borders to win the Hows-Racesafe National U-18 Eventing title. Isabella took top honours riding an eight year old bay mare, ‘Carolyn’ owned by her mother, the Duchess of Roxburghe at the Glanusk International Horse Trials (6-8 July 2012) and was also 11th placed with another ride, Rosses Captain.
Commenting on her win, Isabella said: “I am so thrilled and actually still can’t believe this has happened! It was tough going because of the amount of rain and the course didn’t let up for a moment; both the mare and I really enjoyed the challenge. She coped fantastically, I am so proud of her and my younger horse for finishing on their dressage scores. They both did really well.
“I have to thank the organisers who worked so hard to make sure that the Championships could go ahead, despite all the rain.”
“I also have to thank my extremely supportive trainers, Heidi and Ian Woodhead who have played a huge part in getting us here and who really deserve this success.”
Isabella finished on her dressage score of 41.7 just posting a faster time across country than her closest rival for the title which was Sophie How. Sophie, riding Pebbly Aga Khan also finished with 41.7. Third placed Will Furlong went double clear to finish on his dressage mark of 44.2 with his 2011 KBIS U-18 Open Novice Champion, Pioneer Sylvie. Full Glanusk results are on www.britisheventing.com.
Tim How from Hows Racesafe said: “The team at Glanusk did a tremendous amount of work on the course which was presented beautifully. The riders and horses coped remarkably well considering the wet conditions and it was lovely to see some of the faces we know make the transition from the Pony Programme into Junior level Eventing.
“This was our third year of supporting the U-18 Championships at Glanusk and we look forward to the coming years.”
Chairman of the Junior Selection Committee, Ginnie Keen said that: “Whilst it was extremely tight at the top, Isabella and her relatively new horse remained very cool under pressure and pulled off an incredible performance to win what was her first major Championship.”
Glanusk Cross Country Course Designer, Eric Winter said: “It was very beneficial to make the two courses different for the International CCI1* and the U-18 CCI1* – riders in both classes found the level suitably challenging.”
All U-18 combinations were under the watchful eye of the Racesafe Junior Selection Committee to add to their squad to defend team gold at the FEI Junior European Championships at Strzegom (POL) from 6-9 September 2012. The long-listed riders for the squad will be announced later this week.