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Amy and Vernon triumph in competition

Amy Whittington (17) with her Horse "Vernon" (2287695)
Amy Whittington (17) with her Horse "Vernon" (2287695)

Spalding High School sixth former Amy Whittington and her horse, Vernon, were star performers in a schools' Jumping with Style (JWS) competition.

The pair won the final and biggest class of the day, the 1.10m in a National Schools Equestrian Association competition at Codham Park, Essex.

It was going to be a team event but injury to one of the member's horses meant Amy went solo.

The 1.10m (which indicates the height of the poles) was best suited to Amy's bold riding style because she loves to push forward.

But Amy and Vernon (Newmarket Adventure) had already completed a stylish clear round in a technical course, finishing 6th in the 90cm class.

And they went one better, claiming 5th in the 1m class.

The 1.10m win gives Amy and Vernon an individual championship qualification, and saw them collect prizes of a personalised numnah (saddlecloth), boot bag and grooming bag.

Amy began riding when she was about six, and was inspired to take it up because her mum, Sue, used to ride.

Amy said: "I used to see photographs of her when she was younger, riding, and it really got me interested and I had a few lessons."

Lessons confirmed Amy's interest.

Amy's partnership with Vernon is relatively new as the handsome dark bay only came into her life at the end of August.

Amy said: "He's just really sweet. He's a dude, basically. Even though he's quite a large horse, he doesn't quite realise his size.

"He is so sweet on the ground. When you ride him he just comes alive.

If I am walking a course, I can always see he's looking out for me. We have really got a good bond now."

Despite Amy's obvious skill, she doesn't see her future career as an equestrian.

"It's more a hobby," said Amy. "But I probably wouldn't ride if I didn't compete. I enjoy the competition especially."

Amy's school said she had represented them "beautifully"

Amy Whittington (17) with her Horse "Vernon" (2287695)
Amy Whittington (17) with her Horse "Vernon" (2287695)

Amy's school said she had represented them "beautifully".


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