Kent Rider Mark Jones wins the Horsezone.co.uk National Para Equestrian Grade 1 at British Showjumping National Championships on Tuesday 11th August 2015 at Stoneleigh, Warwickshire.
Mark Jones from Dartford, Kent, on his own 12 year-old bay mare Whisper XXI clinched the title in The Horsezone.co.uk National Para Club Equestrian Grade I held as part of The Horsezone.co.uk Para Club Championships which took place in the Andrews Bowen Indoor Arena on Tuesday at the British Showjumping National Championships. The Championships consisted of six titles awarded in various grades. The grading system ranges from Grade I, II, III, IV and Open with grades representative of the competitor’s level of disability.
Mark completed the course to claim the top spot at what is only his second ever Para Showjumping competition.
Mark has spent all his working life in the Equestrian industry including working as a groom for Julian Mincher. It wasn’t until 2010 that Mark became ill and was diagnosed with Lupis. Mark is on morphine 24 hours a day and also struggles with short term memory loss, making remembering a showjumping course an additional challenge.
Incredibly Mark has never had a single lesson in his life and trained his horse, Whisper XXI, himself. Mark says that Whisper can be ‘quirky’ but they have built a strong bond in the six years he has owned her.
Mark, who is also a Grade II Para Dressage Rider, was thrilled with the day’s results. “I don’t think I can explain, it is the best feeling ever. It is an amazing feeling; I am so, so proud of my horse, she has literally saved my life. She got me back outside again after being house bound and got me through the bad times because I always knew I had her.”
Horsezone.co.uk National Para Club Equestrian Grade I results:
1st Mark Jones & Whisper XXI
2nd Karen Bostock & Rossini IV
3rd Alex McNamara & Murphy and the Bricks