North Yorkshire rider Alex Gill became only the second showjumper in Horse of the Year Show history to successfully defend the prestigious Blue Chip Pony Newcomers Championship title at Birmingham’s LG Arena.
Alex, who is from Northallerton, triumphed last year with Wildwood Silver, and he came up trumps again this time around, guiding Kingstown Rebel to a comfortable victory and emulating Matthew Sampson’s feat of successive victories in 2005 and 2006.
Alex, 16, qualified three horses among a twelve horse jump off, but former eventer Kingstown Rebel, a 7 year-old grey gelding owned by Sonya Fitch Peyton, set a standard no other combination could match, clocking 39.82 seconds to leave Faye Adams (Rainbows Mocha) in second place and Abbie Bevan (Eclips VI) third from an original field of twenty-five.
“It is a very good start to the week for me. We will take that,” said Alex, who was part of the Great Britain squad at this year’s Pony European Jumping Championships.
“He is a really quick pony. He has always been banging on the door for a win like that, and once we found the turns in the course, we were really confident. It just came off, really.
“He only started jumping in January this year. He is a clear round machine – he is something else.
“He is really nervous and spooky, he’s his own character. But on the big occasions, he just pulls it out of the bag.”
Alex and Kingstown Rebel were presented with a Championship Rug, a winner’s medal and a winner’s jacket. They were joined in the prize-giving by Clare Blaskey, Managing Director, Liz Driver, Marketing Manager and Sarah Butler, Office Manager & Nutritional Specialist at Blue Chip Feed Ltd.
Horse of the Year Show – Wednesday 8th October 2014
Blue Chip Pony Newcomers Championship
1st Alex Gill & Kingstown Rebel – 0/0 – 39.82 seconds
2nd Faye Adams & Rainbows Mocha – 0/0 – 41.27 seconds
3rd Abbie Bevan & Eclips VI – 0/0 – 41.38 seconds
4th Harry Charles & Phoenix VI – 0/0 – 48.18 seconds
5th Katie Waldock-Smith & Clailu Saffron – 0/0 – 50.79 seconds
6th Alex Gill & Noah’s Lady – 0/4 – 40.38 seconds
7th Lottie Tutt & Colours of Romeo – 0/4 – 40.39 seconds
8th Josh Bridge & Lui Roulette – 0/8 – 41.59 seconds