Surprise Victory at Hickstead for Rosie

Schoolgirl Rosie Manning is celebrating after a surprise victory at the prestigious Royal International Horse Show at Hickstead last week.

The 17-year-old from Wisbech rode her own bay Irish Sports Horse Kilkenny Kid to success in the 153cm Working Hunter Pony class.

'She qualified at Letchworth in tough company early in May so it was good as it fit in with Rosie studying for her AS levels,' said proud mum Liz.

Kilkenny Kid, also known as Junior because 'he should have grown bigger to be an eventer', was up against some stiff competition at the finals, but Rosie and her experienced 15-year-old horse really excel at jumping.

'The course at Hickstead was particularly tricky and out of 30 entries only four jumped clear,' explained Liz. 'We knew she had probably come fourth and were so thrilled about that, but when the judge started calling in the places in reverse order it got unbelievably exciting. We didn't think she could beat the other three as one was last year's winner, one was the Scottish champion and the other won at HOYS.'

Rosie returned to Hickstead this week to compete for Spalding High School in the National Schools Showjumping event. She also rides as a member of Fitzwilliam Pony Club and is studying for four A levels.

With university on the horizon Rosie vows to keep horses as a hobby, and if her success at Hickstead is anything to go by she could be partnering Junior to the top of her sport.

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• Last Sunday the British Riding Clubs Area 14 Show Jumping and Jumping with Style qualifiers were held at Geldeston Hall, hosted by Beccles and Bungay Riding Club.

The first class of the day was the Junior Novice over a course that proved a little tricky due to a damp surface and bright sunlight reflecting off some of the fillers.

After two rounds the team winners were Carousel Riding Club with the Carleton team in second place.

The second class was the Junior Intermediate with Carleton the only team to survive into the second round and clear winners. The club was represented by Georgina Wood on her own mare Ashley, Anwen Rees on Iz Wizz and Flora Hartley-Webb on Puzzles Planet Pluto.

Norfolk rivalry continued in the final class of the day, the Senior Intermediate. Once again it was Carleton and Carousel fighting it out for top spot with Carousel the eventual winners by one pole.

• The Pony Club Regional Tetrathlon Competition will take place tomorrow and Saturday at Grange Farm Equestrian Centre, Wittering Grange, Peterborough.

The event will host an inter-regional competition, including Tetrathletes selected to compete from all areas of the UK at Pony Club Intermediate and Open level, and an International competition featuring teams from the UK, USA, Canada, Ireland and Australia.