Shropshire rider Emily Morris saved the best until last to win the Horseware Bronze League Championship on day one at the Horse of the Year Show in at the NEC in Birmingham.
Katie Shaw who last year’s Silver League winner, had set a rapid jump-off pace with Cyloma Z, clocking 33.87 seconds, but last to go Emily and 11-year-old Ultimatum II went almost three seconds quicker to take spot, with Stephanie Gunn and Lady Larino finishing third.
“We had to go for it,” said Emily, who is based in Whitchhurch. “Katie had obviously gone very quickly. I saw her round on the television monitor in the collecting ring, and didn’t think there was anything I could do, so I just went as fast as I could all the way around. The great thing about my horse is that I can let him go to a fence. He is so careful. You don’t have to place him; he will find his way over the jump. He’s very clever.
“If he has a pole down, sometimes he will just dry up on you, but if you let him sort himself out, he’s that careful. If you get him there, he will try to jump it for you. He was second in the Members’ Cup final at British Showjumping National Championships at Stoneleigh this year, and he has been very consistent. This is probably his biggest major win, and I will probably aim him at the Silver League next year.”
The Bronze League Championship is a nationwide event that sees riders having to qualify locally, and then through semi-finals to produce seven HOYS qualifiers from the north and seven from the south.