Fifteen-year-old Kitty Ashby took the win in the BE90 Section B at Brightling International Horse Trials riding her mare, Boleybawn Rose. Kitty attends Mayfield school where she has just completed her GCSE’s, and competes in NSEA competitions alongside BE and Pony Club.
After buying Rose from a professional, Kitty who had just moved up from ponies, initially struggled to get the best out of her, and further set backs were had due to an ill-fitting saddle, however with some determined riding and twice weekly lessons from Bryony Whittington the pair have had wide success. Together they have already qualified for two regional finals for Badminton Grassroots this season, as has Kitty’s father David on his own horse, making the possible qualification a family affair.
Kitty’s mother and sister Alice also come along to events, with Alice often being seen running around the cross country to video her older sister. Kitty did not let their previous wins of the season make her complacent, however, and says of Rose ‘the second you let your guard down a bit she can take the mick’, as evidenced by her stop at the first fence cross country at Rackham on the 16th June.
Brightling wasn’t the easiest ride for Kitty either, with Rose needing lots of encouragement particularly coming to a wagon after the water, however as the course progressed they settled into a good rhythm. Dressage is the easiest discipline for the pair, scoring 24.3 at Brightling. Kitty is also on the hunt for a horse to take her up the levels, hopefully on to Juniors, as her second horse Noodle was unfortunately taken lame earlier this year.
Words by Amelia Holloway and picture by Nigel Goddard