Carter so cool at Pontispool

Yasmin Carter and Kirby

Yasmin Carter and Kirby - Credit: Archant

Two veterans in the twilight of their careers showed their young rivals how it’s done at Pontispool Equine Sport’s Centre’s first eventer challenge of the year, writes Lucy Johnson.

Kirby and Tom, both aged 22, won the 70cm and 80cms classes respectively, jumping clear around tracks designed by international event rider Lucy McCarthy.

Competitors faced showjumps and cross country fences, including a bank, ditches and water, in the NAF-sponsored competition which took place in the venue’s renowned all-weather arena.

Following her win, Kirby’s owner Yasmin Carter, who works full time as a secretary in an Ottery St Mary doctor’s surgery, is now tempted to try affiliated eventing. “Our goal this season is to increase our confidence after I had a career break, providing we can find some enthusiasm for the dressage!” said the former Axe Vale Pony Club member.

However, Yasmin’s 12 years with Kirby have stood them in good stead and although they haven’t had any recent training, in the past, help from Andrew Lovell has proved invaluable. “Time hasn’t allowed for much training recently as I am also pursuing a career in hair dressing evenings and weekends but we’ve had plenty of practice in the past,” she said.

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Tom’s owner Millie Toulson-Clarke, 15, won the 80cms class, and dedicated it to her pony’s former owner Hannah Francis who so sadly passed away last year from a rare form of bone cancer. “Millie was very close to Hannah who also taught her, so every time they win, its for her,” explained Millie’s father Miles, the wylie Valley Pony Club’s district commissioner, who added, “It was a great event with beautifully designed and presented. It was quite challenging but they jumped extremely well.”

Charlotte Radley who is studying Veterinary Medicine at the University of Surrey, won the 90cm class riding her 11-year-old Little Em II. The pair began their competitive careers three years ago in the pony club, and quickly progressed to affiliated eventing, completing the Mitsubishi Cup at Badminton in 2015. This season Charlotte is planning to compete in British Showjumping classes with a qualifying spot at the National Championships the goal.

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“We live near Tiverton, but during term time I live in Guildford so I am very lucky that my dad, Albert, keeps the horses fit for me.”

Pontispool’s next eventer challenges take place on February 11 and 25.

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