The Howden Way Young Horse Academy scholars head to Cornbury

Cornbury House Horse Trials (7-10 September) is nearly upon us, and both experienced eventers and talented young event horses are gearing up for the event.

Alongside other gifted five-, six- and seven-year-olds heading to the British Eventing Young Horse Championships are three promising young horses on The Howden Way Young Horse Academy.

Zorro B is a seven-year-old gelding by Loumira owned and ridden by Lucy Sugden. They won the 7yo class at Richmond and then went on to finish in the top six at Frickley International 3*. They are entered for the Cornbury 7yo Championships.

“I’ve had him since a four-year-old and I’m really excited about taking him to the championships at Cornbury,” said Lucy. “Prep-wise, it’s gone as good as it can. He feels on fabulous form and has been very consistent. He’s been a very reliable horse. We have a system that really works, and I’m looking forward to going back to Cornbury – I really enjoyed it last time I went.

“The Howden Way Young Horse training days have been invaluable and a huge part of getting the young horses ready for the bigger championship shows and getting the flat work right. Nicola Wilson does a lot of them and she is brilliant and has been really useful. I’ve put my name down to hopefully be on the academy again next year. If you’re a non-pro rider like me who has been lucky and found themselves a really nice young horse that is good enough for a pro, it’s good to get your name out there and be seen by good instructors. He is the perfect horse for an academy like that and I’m really excited that he will go all the way.”

Harthill Samba (pictured above) is a seven-year-old gelding by Arkol, owned by Peter Appleford and John Bevan, and ridden by Charlotte Rowe. The pair have enjoyed top five finishes in two 7yo classes, and stepped up to 3* this season, including a double clear at Aston-le-Walls international. He is entered for the Cornbury 7yo Championships.

“I got him as a very raw five-year-old and he’d done nothing,” said Charlotte. “He was very green and quite cheeky bit in a nice way, and we’ve produced him on slowly from there. He has exceeded all our expectations. His owners bought him to play around with at BE100 and then move him on, but he’s become as good as he has and we’re really excited about him.

“He’s had a good run up to the championships – he did his first 3* at Aston-le-Walls and jumped a double clear, been second in a few intermediates and was the only seven-year-old in the Hartpury 3* long and did a very good performance there.

“I’ve had some great The Howden Way Young Horse academy training sessions – a few early on in the year at Solihull, which were great, and then a couple more recently with Tina Cook who was brilliant. I found them invaluable, and since then, Tina has helped me at a couple of shows that she has been at which was really useful.

“I’m excited to go to Cornbury as it’s such a prestigious event with big tracks, and we’re looking forward to hopefully having a good run there. We’ve applied for him to get onto the Le Lion seven-year-old squad, too, so fingers crossed! I like the Young Horse championships as it sees them right in their later years as they’re not as star struck at the bigger events.”

Carpo Vivendi (pictured above) is a seven-year-old gelding by Ars Vivendi owned by Sara Brown and ridden by Jack Pinkney. They have enjoyed two top three finishes in 7yo classes and successfully stepped up to 3*. They are entered for the Cornbury 7yo Championships.

“I’ve had him since a five-year-old. He came to me as a sharp, tricky young horse but he’s really come on. He struggled as a five-year-old so we gave him time, and as a six-year-old he came into his own and this year, he’s another horse again. Sara Brown his owner has been really supportive and patient, and hopefully it’s paid off as she’s now starting to get to go to some nice shows with him.

“He’s done three The Howden Way Young Horse Academy training days. The one at start of the season with Kylie Roddy really gave me the confidence to move on with him and put him under a bit more pressure. It was also nice to be a part of a group of other seven-year-olds to assess where he is in relation to other horses of his age. They help to keep your eye in and stop you from slacking.

“It’s great that the championships are being held at Cornbury – it has really good questions and for a young horse to go out and see them and experience the atmosphere is a brilliant part of their education. We’re quietly confident – he’s had a good season and gone double clear in every run apart from his first, and his dressage is really coming on, so he’s prepped and ready to go.”

The Howden Way Young Horse Academy delivers a Young Horse Pathway programme giving valuable support to the development and recognition of young horses competing within British Eventing. Horses are identified via Young Horse Viewing and Young Horse Development Days. From here combinations are invited onto The Howden Way Young Horse Academy providing access to educational camps with leading expertise in addition to remote support.
There are online leagues for age group horses created and hosted online, and there are also specific age group classes at National Competitions.

To find out more about The Howden Way Young Horse Academy, here.

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