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Pippa Rides to the Top


College pupil and rising equestrian star, Pippa Duncan, recently returned from The Horse of the Year Show, the pinnacle of the showing calendar with some sound experience under her belt.

The road to The Horse of the Year Show involves months of intensive training and preparation of both horse and rider. Pippa spends most of her holidays at the yard doing everything from mucking out to schooling and cleaning tack, often riding 4 or 5 ponies a day to ready them for the show ring. But participation at the top shows is not just a matter of entering, qualification must be earned.

Competing in Show Hunter Pony classes, Pippa has both to ride and show her ponies in-hand. Marks are given for the ‘Go-round’, the individual show where rider and horse are judged on their paces and how well they work together and then the strip where the animal is marked for their conformation and movement. Riding as part of a team, Pippa also has to help prepare and warm up the ponies she and her fellow team mates will ride. Pippa is a veteran of hundreds of show but says that HOYS and the Royal International Horse Show are her favourites, “The feeling of riding in the International Arena, the largest in the world, where the greats like Mark Todd and Nick Skelton have ridden, is just fantastic!”

Pippa’s outing to last weekend’s Horse of the Year Show resulted in a 10th place with her 14hh hunter Fred but sadly her 13hh hunter Beckham lost out on a place after being a bit cheeky in front of the judges. Pippa is aiming to qualifying again next year and doing even better. Fellow College pupils, Zara Clarke-Jones and Emelia Mitchell were also competing at HOYS.

Published: October 16 2017

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