Friday, 19 August 2022

Teenage showjumper in national schools championships

A TEENAGE showjumper from Woodcote will be competing in the National Schools Championships tomorrow (Saturday).

A TEENAGE showjumper from Woodcote will be competing in the National Schools Championships tomorrow (Saturday).

Mia Allen, of Pot Kiln Lane, qualified for the event at Addington Manor in Buckinghamshire after winning a competition in Gloucestershire last month.

The 14-year-old and her 148cm Irish pony Pearl were up against 50 other riders, some as old as 18 and riding horses.

She had to clear a course of 110cm jumps without any errors. She then had to tackle another course with jumps of up to 115cm high and recorded the fastest time.

She was awarded a trophy, a sash and a £40 voucher from equestrian supplier Devoucoux.

Mia, who attends Langtree School in Woodcote and rides for the school team, started lessons with her mother Tess whe she was two. Within months she was competing at county events in the lead rein class.

She then showed an interest in jumping so Mrs Allen, who is the school team manager, taught her the basics when she was four. Mia started by learning to trot and canter by herself then jump over bars laid out on the floor.

She has since competed in the British Showjumping Championships and had lessons from international showjumper James Fisher, from Sonning. She has also secured sponsorship from Whitchurch tarmac firm Hazell & Jeffries.

Her older sister Imogen, 17, is also a keen rider and has competed in national events but is currently focusing on her studies. Mrs Allen said: “Mia’s definitely following in her sister’s footsteps. She found lead rein events quite boring but when she saw showjumping in the other arenas she said, ‘Mummy, I want to try that’.

“I was elated when she qualified this year and so was her father. He’s often very busy with work so it was lovely that he was free to come and watch her. We’re both very proud.

“Mia’s looking forward to the championships but she’s not nervous. She likes to win but she’s happy to be out there riding and the bigger the jumps, the better.”

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