There was an air of festival at this year’s Championships as friends and families came together from all parts of the UK to celebrate their equestrian sport of choice.
SEIB Trailblazers Championship is recognised as a major event in the UK equestrian calendar with riders winning their ticket to the championships throughout the year, gaining qualification at one of over 60 official Trailblazer qualifying venues across the breadth of the country.
First up was the hugely popular Dodson & Horrell dressage weekend, 40 competitions with placings 1st-10th accumulating points which determined over the two days of competition the Champion and Reserve Champion of the six Championships.
“To win is amazing!” said Beth Davies winner of the Dodson & Horrell Junior Prelim with Blu Lou Boy, “I’ve worked towards this since last year.”
Beth has owned Blu Lou Boy since he was six months old and produced him on her own so this win had a particularly special meaning for her.
“Shocked” said first time competitor at Trailblazers Maisy Elliot as she described her Junior Novice Championship win with King Alfred Moon. Maisy enjoys travelling to shows and staying away from home with her family and SEIB Trailblazers Championship provided them with a perfect opportunity.
Asked to sum up King Alfred Moon “He’s amazing, he does everything for me and is probably the best horse I’ve ever had.”
Showing and Working Hunter Championships saw an array of stunning horses and ponies who picked up winning points on day 1 and day 2 with the winners of the 14 In-Hand, 16 Ridden & 7 Working Hunter Championships going forward to be judged for the overall Supreme Champion and Reserve Champion in each section.
Local rider Liz Bain from Grandborough, Warwickshire and her impressive grey hunter Just Tim claimed Supreme In-Hand Championship on their second visit to the SEIB Trailblazers Championships.
“I’m thrilled with the win, this is only our second time competing at Trailblazers,” said Liz, “it’s the perfect championship for us to compete,”
Ava Collinson and Ruston Randolph were crowned Supreme Ridden Champions on their second visit to Trailblazers,
“Ava was so excited to come back to Trailblazers this year it’s been so much for fun this year and to take Supreme Championship - Ava hasn’t come back down to earth yet - she’s still on cloud 9” said Ava’s mum.
Combined Training is growing more popular covering two disciplines dressage and show jumping, dressage on the Royal Arena with its superb grass surface and then into the main arena for their jumping phase.
Gillian Hasberry from Leicester won the Combined Training Preliminary Pony 65cm Championship with her home bred 7 year old Connemara St Flannans Graienne.
“Trailblazers is a brilliant way to bring on young ponies, its lovely for them to do and with a proper championship feel,” said Gillian.
Top honours in the Combined Training Elementray Horse 85cm went to Amanda Kisiel and Princess Summer. Amanda who is from Cannock in Staffordshire, qualified at Weston Lawns and has owned the 14 year old chestnut mare from a 3 year old.
“We competed at Trailblazers last year in the dressage, but decided to aim for Combined Training this year,” said Amanda, “I’m absolutely over the moon with our win.”
Albion Show Jumping Championships rounded up a week of competition at SEIB Trailblazers Championship, run on a points system which determined the eventual 14 champions. The horses and riders relaxed into competition mode after the initial warm up day allowing them to familiarise with the atmosphere in the Championship Arenas which included show jumps from London 2012.
Albion Showjumping - Championship Winners
Albion Junior 65cm (12 years and under) Katie Bradburn
Albion Junior 65 cm, Daniel Williams
Albion Junior 75cm, Izzy Armstrong
Albion Junior 85cm, Freya Samuel-SmithAlbion Junior 95cm, Olivia Hubbard
Albion Junior 105c, Georgie Marriott
Albion Senior 65cm, Melanie Widdows
Albion Senior 75cm, Milly Rodman
Albion Senior 85cm, Hannah Cartwright
Albion Senior 96cm, Carrie Moore
Albion Senior 105cm, Nicola Bartropp
Albion Senior on Ponies 65cm, Alexandra Taylor
Albion Senior on Ponies 75cm, Jessica Fewkes
Albion Senior on Ponies 85cm, Lucy Greenfield
The Albion Junior 65cm Championship crown went to a delighted Daniel Williams and Jack, owned by Linda Davies who bought Jack at a sale, as 6 month old but turned out to be a 4 month old and paid £80.
He’s brought many children up through the levels, suffered a broken leg three years ago and although this combination qualified for last year’s Trailblazers, were unable to compete due to Jack sustaining a ligament injury.
“Trailbazers has been my aim all year,” said Daniel, “and its the icing on the cake to win here.”
The trip from Essex proved well worthwhile for 16 year old Freya Samuel-Smith and her rescue pony Blue Cross Flannagan, celebrating their final year in juniors by winning the Albion Junior 85cm Championships. The 8 year old rescue pony was produced by Freya and won both rounds,
“I’ve brought him on myself and it’s a real achievement to be here and do so well,” said Freya, “this is the third year I’ve competed here, the second year I broke my nose so the nerves have been quite high!”