Six talented junior Borders showjumpers have been selected to ride for Scotland at the Inter Academy Competition at Weston Lawns near Coventry in August.
A number of Borders riders attended a Scottish Junior Academy Camp held at – and sponsored by – the Scottish National Equestrian Centre (SNEC) near Oatridge, West Lothian, where 60 children from all over Scotland were in attendance.
Amy Morris (Brown Sugar), from Lauder, Duncan McFadyen (Mileage For Milo) and Katy McFadyen (Bounty II), both from Morebattle, will ride in the 80cm team, while Louise Hebdon (Blue Shadow), from Coldstream, will ride in the same class as an individual.
Ellie Meldrum (Sylvester 60), from Oxnam, and Tara Aitchison (Mister Starbust), from Coldstream, will both ride in the 90cm team with Louise Hebdon (Kellora Firefly) qualifying for the 1.05m team.
These riders all regularly attend training sessions in Edinburgh, organised by British Showjumping through their Junior Academy system.
They are coached by Andrew Hamilton (showjumping), Karon Carson (flat work), Marjorie McNaughton (rules and chef d’equipe) and Gillian McFadyen (stable management and horse care). The academy co-ordinator is Anne Morris from Lauder.
They also all attend an intensive showjumping training camp each summer, which is led by senior international showjumpers.
The riders are all following the NAF Five Star training system, which was set up by British Showjumping and NAF to develop both riders and ponies for top-level competition – it certainly seems to be working in the Borders.