Fourteen year-old Henry Squibb from Brentwood, Essex added his name to the Blue Chip Pony Newcomers Championship roll of honour when he took the top spot on the 8 year-old grey gelding Clyde Barrows owned by Patricia Squibb.
Henry fought off 47 other challengers to take victory at the British Showjumping Indoor Championships at Aintree Equestrian Centre.
Twenty-two talented combinations made it through to the jump off and it was built to allow for some galloping lines as competitors knew that only an accurate round in a quick time would do today. The double in today’s jump off proved to be tricky for some of the riders and ponies, but those who jumped it just right found that it was an area of the course that you could make up both ground and time.
Just six of the jump off field were able to deliver a double clear and the fastest of these came from Henry and Clyde Barrows who finished in a time of 32.62 seconds. This pair left it all out in the arena, but with 12 combinations still to jump after them, it must have been a nervous wait as the class drew to its conclusion. However, just three others were able to jump clear after Henry and they simply couldn’t catch his time.
Jake Myers took second place on Oakley III with his double clear in 33.16 seconds whilst Gabriel Ball and Rescue finished in third in a time of 33.36 seconds.
Talking after the class, Henry said “I got him [Clyde Barrows] from my cousin Ellie and my Grandad and I’ve had him for about a year and a half now. To ride, he’s quite straightforward as you can either go faster and slower depending on what you need and he’s good in a jump off. He’s good at home, I ride him every other day and he behaves the same at home and at a show. I’m trained by John Renwick and just before I went in the ring today, he told me that he won this class when he was younger! There’s a great bond between us all. John won this class in 1987 riding La Campensina.
“I knew that I had to go fast today because there were twenty-two in the jump off and whenever there was a turn, I knew that I needed to be the tightest. Clyde is normally quite careful which helps too. Today feels like a great accomplishment for both of us as we’ve come up through the levels together.”