EQUESTRIAN: Clemmie claims place at top events with Jonty

Clemmie and Jonty
Clemmie and Jonty

Spalding High School student Clemmie Hitcham and her pony Jonty have qualified for three top events.

The 12-year-old, currently in year 8, competed at the Lincolnshire Show and Arena UK, Grantham.

Lincolnshire Show

Lincolnshire Show

With permission to take part at Lincoln, Clemmie and her 13-hand pony Jonty (Portmead Amulet) were one of only four clear rounds in the Underwood 133cm Working Hunter Pony class.

They won the class and in doing so qualified for the Horse of the Year Show at the NEC in October – a first time for both pony and rider with a seven-point lead.

Returning to his muddy field for a day, he then went to Grantham’s Arena UK bright and early where they were hoping to be in the top four to qualify for The White Company’s Burghley Event Pony which runs on the Sunday of Burghley Horse Trials in early September.

The year’s top 12 ranked combinations in each height section compete in dressage, showjumping and working hunter for the acclaimed White Company trophy.

They were ninth after the dressage, moving to seventh place in the Working Sports Pony event.

Still not good enough to qualify, they went into the evening show jumping fairly despondent to see if they could go clear.

Jumping in reverse order, they were third into the arena.

The last fence was a joker – gaining 10 extra points – however, the fence stood at a huge 1.10m.

Clemmie and Jonty were clear until the joker fence and made the decision to jump it.

With a huge cheer, they cleared the joker fence, pushing all those above her to make the same choice.

There were four rounds with either combinations taking poles or having stops or run-outs. The last two riders jumped clear.

With a complex scoring system with weighting for various classes, they had no idea if Clemmie was in the top four.

They announced the placings in reverse order. By the time they called fourth out, they knew they had made it into the Burghley placings.

Clemmie and Jonty were pulled in third, beating last year’s Hickstead supreme pony champion.

This combination haven ever jumped at Burghley, Horse of the Year or Hickstead. However this year, they will jump amid seasoned campaigners at all three top events.

Mum Annabel said: “We are amazed. Thank you to the High School for allowing time off to compete.”