2019 British Young Rider Championship | An Eventful Life

2019 British Young Rider Championship

 

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There was jubilation as Phoebe Locke finished her show jumping round on the final day of the Saracen Horse Feeds Young Rider Championship at Houghton Hall; she punched the air as she completed the clear round on Union Fortunus, knowing she could have done no better but not expecting to win

Phoebe and her 15.3h bay gelding Union Fortunus had started the CCI3*-L Young Rider Championship well, leading the dressage phase for most of the day on a score of 29.8, only bettered by Bubby Upton on Eros DHI very late on Friday afternoon.

Bubby and her gold medal winning Junior European Championship horse added nothing to their dressage score of 28.60 on cross country day, as did Phoebe and Union Fortunus, leaving just 1.2 penalties between the two of them heading into the show jumping

At that point lying in third place on Cola III, Bubby show jumped early to produce a lovely clear round, guaranteeing her a podium finish and Phoebe expected her to produce the same again on Eros DHI.

However Bubby and Eros had a miscommunication at the eighth fence, almost replicating a similar incident the previous year when Bubby finished second in the Championship and, although the pair recovered remarkably well to jump the rest of the course without further penalties, the four faults had relegated them to third place while Cola III moved into second and Phoebe took the win

 

      Bubby Upton and Cola III

 

As the rug was put on Union Fortunus and Phoebe was waiting for the presentation, the realisation sank in that she was the 2019 British Young Rider Champion and tears welled up

“I’ve come second so many times and I never imagined that Bubby would have a pole” she said “It’s hard to believe”

Phoebe and Union Fortunus were part of the British Junior team to take bronze at the European Junior Championships in 2016 and again in 2017 where they won team silver and were fifth individually. The winning of the British Young Rider Championship however will be their swansong, another reason for tears to well up for Phoebe as she will be saying farewell to ‘Mr Consistent – double clears are his thing”

“It will be very emotional, but I feel that he needs to give someone else all the joy he’s given me. He’s such an incredible horse”

 

Phoebe Locke