A talented showjumper from Rotherham claimed first place in a national competition – and has her sights set on further success with pony, Princess.
Representing Swinton Academy – one of 12 schools which form the Aston Community Education Trust (ACET) – Erin and Princess qualified for the prestigious league by finishing fifth in the 80cm individual class at Milton Equestrian Centre back in February.
This allowed the pair to compete in the national league and, after the opening round and a first-place finish, they sit 37th out of 103 competitors nationally with several more league meetings to attend.
Points are awarded for riders who usually finish in the top six of their class. At the end of the competition year, selected riders are then put forward for a training camp, funded by sponsors The Worshipful Saddlers Company.
Rebecca Hibberd, Principal at Swinton Academy, said: “The standard is extremely high and it takes a lot of hard work and skill to be placed, so we’re delighted with Erin’s performance.
“Erin is a hardworking and conscientious student and we know how hard she has worked for this competition. We are thrilled that she is representing Swinton Academy and wish both Erin and Princess the best of luck in the next round.”
Mum Suzanne Plant said: “We’ve had Princess – a 14-year-old Irish sports pony – for almost two years now. She’s a very talented pony and, although Erin has been riding for about three years now, Princess is the pony who really taught her to ride; she’s the first horse on which Erin has jumped competitively.
“They both work hard and spend hours training with coach Christie Batty and instructor Hannah Taylor. Erin is also a member of the Yorkshire region of the British Show jumping Academy, which has also helped and inspired her.
“Their efforts are really starting to pay off. Maybe we’ll have an Olympic champion on our hands one day!”
The next league competition is in May.
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