Hollie Gerken secures the top Blue Chip HOYS ticket in the Blue Chip Pony Newcomers Second Round at Arena UK's Summer Pony Premier.
Hollie Gerken is off to the Horse of the Year Show with Jennifer Hudson’s Ballycarrow Mirahs Sparrow after proving the best of a mammoth entry in the Blue Chip Pony Newcomers Second Round at the first Summer Pony Premier of the season at Arena UK in Allington, Lincolnshire.
A total of 88 tackled course-designer Mark McGowan’s testing 12-fence 1.10m track in hope of taking the top four coveted qualifying places. Thirteen provided initial clears and these were further reduced to six for the final decider against the clock.
Hollie, 13, of Colchester, Essex, rattled the first vertical but it stayed intact, and she kept her cool to ride a smooth, unflappable round on the Westside Mirah x Bobby Sparrow Blue 11-year-old Connemara mare ‘Sky’ to head into the top spot.
“We’ve only had Sky since December and we’re very grateful for the ride, she’s a lovely, straight forward pony, we call her the reliable one – she likes going clear and Hollie loves riding her,” said Hollie’s Mum Jade, who was pleased to have the support of previous rider Thalia Nuttall at the show.
Millie Lawson dismissed any pressure to supply the only other treble clear and slot Orchids Femke into second place. Darcy Breen lowered the first fence but sped up to ensure she provided the fastest time of the class to take third on One Saharah and Madeleine Kerrigan also returned four faults with Cashelbay Liam to take fourth and final qualifying place.
Arena UK Summer Pony Premier – Sunday, 21 May 2023
Blue Chip Pony Newcomers Second Round
1st Hollie Gerken & Ballycarrow Mirahs Sparrow – 0/0/0 - 43.87 seconds
2nd Millie Lawson & Orchids Femke – 0/0/0 - 45.00 seconds
3rd Darcy Breen & One Saharah – 0/0/4 - 38.34 seconds
4th Madeleine Kerrigan & Cashelbay Liam – 0/0/4 - 41.69 seconds
NB: Results pending official grading.