Borders’ girls ride high at Weston Lawns

Members of the Edinburgh and Borders Junior British Show Jumping Academy made the long journey south to Weston Lawns, just outside Coventry, for the Inter Academy Finals last week.

Amy Morris, nine, of Lauder, travelled down on the Friday for an extra two days of jumping and was rewarded with the red ribbon on the Saturday in the 11-and-under qualifier.

She then went on to Sunday’s final, where she and Brown Sugar III managed to take the top spot.

Monday saw a tempo change with the NAF 5* awards, where the riders have a dressage-type test and then a small course to jump. Competitors are judged on style and performance.

Ellie Meldrum, 13, on Sylvester 60 put in a lovely round to secure second place over all in the 1*, while Katy McFadyen, 11, on Bounty II, took fourth place. Megan Morris, 10, was seventh in the 2* from more than 40 starters.

Tuesday saw the team jumping begin, with a Commonwealth Theme.

Borders riders Amy Morris and Katy MacFadyen, and Crista Lochhead-Anderson and Cameron Bain (Aberdeen) all rode clear rounds to put them in a strong position.

The four youngsters all jumped clear again on the Wednesday, putting them through to the jump-off, where Amy Morris put in some heart-stopping turns to take the second fastest time of the day, but just tipped the last pole. The team ended a very creditable fourth out of 17 teams.

The Mature Maxi Team Hampden, with Louise Hebdon and Ellie Meldrum from the Borders took fifth place.

Not content with the excitement of this event, Ellie headed straight home and onto Blair Horse Trials, where she picked up a third place in the working hunter class on the very versatile Sylvester 60.

Katy MacFadyen followed her at the Trials the next day, securing a fourth place in the 12hh and under working hunter class on Cui Mai Jess, a pony she rides for Mr and Mrs G Turnbull.