Hogmanay contest in Liverpool '“ but we'll be back for the bells!
Borders showjumper Amy Morris is saddling up for a spectacular finish to a successful 2016.
The young rider, from just outside Lauder, has already savoured the experience of the London International Horse Show at Olympia earlier this month.
And Amy (11), who has had an exceptional year competing British showjumping, will be gracing the arena on New Year’s Eve at the star-studded Liverpool International Horse Show.
She has been invited to compete with fellow Horse o f the Year Show qualifiers in an event for ponies of 128 cms in height – the size of her black pony, 13-year-old Madonna.
However, the family still aims to be in familiar surroundings to welcome in 2017.
“We’re jumping at the back of 1pm, so we’ll be back home to the Borders for the bells!” said her mum Anne.
At Olympia, Amy took a very creditable third place in the mini major competition – a Pony Club event in which riders have to meet British showjumping standards before they are considered.
Amy was the only Scottish rider taking part and had to set the pace after being drawn first. In the end, she rode very impressively and there was only half a second separating first, second and third place.
She was also following in the footsteps of sister Megan, who was at the venue in 2014.
Amy, an S1 pupil at Earlston High School, has partnered Madonna for a year and they have qualified for Royal International Horse Show, Royal Highland Show and Horse of the Year Show events.
They have represented Scotland at home pony international shows around Britain, while their biggest achievement to date was a fourth-placed finish in the Royal International Horse Show at Hickstead.
Amy also filled the top two slots at a Scottish indoor championship in the 128 category, winning on a friend’s pony, Telynau Royal Damask, and taking second place on Madonna.
Praising both her daughters’ achievements, Anne added: “We are out competing with all these other folk and they all have indoor schools and huge facilities – we live on a farm at the top of a hill and we have a wee outdoor school.
“I just feel if other people could see how well you can do with not a lot, it would inspire other people to keep going.
“This game is a lot about money but, equally, it’s a lot about what talented kids do.”