A SIX-YEAR-OLD has become a horse riding champion after winning two categories at a national competition.
Brooke Douglas, from Clitheroe, is the 2014 Showing Ridden Lead Rein and Veteran champion after competing at the Nettex Trailblazers Championships in Warwickshire.
The pupil at St Leonard’s Primary School, in Billington, won the contest with her grey Welsh selection pony Spirit, who has been in the family for around 10 years.
Her mum Liane said Brooke had been riding since she could walk and practises as often as she can.
She said: “I’m very proud and made up with how Brooke got on at the championships.
“One special moment for me was sending Brooke in the first ridden and Spirit wasn’t sure on trotting without me, so everyone at the side of the ring started clicking to help Brooke get him into trot.”
Spirit was originally taken into the Douglas family from the Only Foals and Horses Sanctuary, in Oswaldtwistle, as a companion for Liane’s horse.
She added: “When the kids came along, he came into his own and has turned into the most fantastic child’s pony.”
Brooke was joined at the competition by 19-year-old Rosie Barker, from Langho, who was named the 2014 Showing Ridden Traditional Coloured Horse champion.
She won with her five-year-old horse Skywar Lord, who she has had since he was a yearling. She broke him in herself when he was two and a half.
This was the pair’s first season competeing under the saddle. A few days before the competition, the horse’s tail got hacked off in the early hours of the morning and he had to compete with only half a tail. The attack did not hurt the horse, but his tail will not grow back fully for around 18 months, meaning he cannot swat flies away.
Rosie, who is doing an apprenticeship at Longsight Stables, said that did not stop him from taking home the title.
She said: “I really enjoyed the competition and it all ran smoothly.”
The Nettex Trailblazers Championships is a 10-day equestrian extravaganza and is the culmination of the hard work amateur riders to qualify.