Teenager Lily Walker is celebrating after winning her class in the grand finale of the 2016 SEIB Arena Eventing series at Vale View Equestrian Centre in Leicestershire.
The 13-year-old KGGS student, from Melton Mowbray, fought off strong competition in the SEIB 90cm Novice class to take the top spot riding her own Ace Lightening.
Arena eventing is a fast growing sport and there is something for everyone in the series.
With sections for intro, pre-novice, novice and intermediate, the event appeals to riders of all levels.
The varied and undulating track built by renowned British Eventing course builder Angus Smales for the SEIB championship final included a tricky corner, steps, a brush and ditch combination and a water complex, almost all on an all-weather surface.
Lily and the 17-year-old grey gelding, jumped smoothly and confidently, taking each fence in their stride to get closest to the optimum time, winning the class and taking home the valuable £300 first prize.
“We got him in November 2015 and the qualifier was their first time doing Arena Eventing,” explained Tracy, Lily’s mother.
“A week before the championships they were invited to go to the Pony Club team Arena Eventing at Blenheim so that was a good warm-up.”
Lily has been a member of the Quorn Hunt Pony Club since the age of five and attends a lot of pony club and riding club events.
“It was great for Lily to get out and do something by herself. She really enjoyed it,” continued Tracy.
“[The prize money of] £300 is a lot of money for a 13-year-old.
“I asked her what she was going to do with it and she wants to buy some long riding boots, but I said she’ll grow out of them too quickly!”
The winner of each class secured a valuable £300 first prize as well as collecting an SEIB horse rug and other goodies.