Touch of the wild at Blenheim this year

Ellen Cole with Michael Jackson and the new zebra fence
Ellen Cole with Michael Jackson and Jagganath, who test jumped the new zebra fence.

Blenheim International Horse Trials will feature a new showjump designed by nine-year-old schoolgirl and eventing fan, Ellen Cole.

Ellen came up with the idea for a Zebra-themed show jump as her entry in the ‘Design a Show Jump’ competition held at last year’s horse trials.

The competition challenged local school children to create a new fence to be used as part of the ‘Eventer Challenge’ competitions including the popular Tri-Zone arena-based event for BE 100 competitors, for which entries open on May 1.  It was part of an initiative to involve children in sport and resulted in over 200 local schoolchildren coming to the event in 2011.

The zebra fence will feature in this year’s arena-based ‘Eventer Challenge’ competitions for grass roots riders.

Ellen, from Garsington Primary School, near Blenheim, is a major fan of the sport and already has an enviable collection of autographs and pictures of herself with some famous event riders.  During the unveiling of her fence, she was able to add international event rider Michael Jackson to her list when he made a return trip to Blenheim Palace to ‘test drive’ the fence on Carole Mortimer’s Jagganath.

Jackson and Jagganath came sixth in the 8 and 9 year old horse CIC*** at Blenheim in 2011 and are aiming to be back in 2012 to contest the CCI***.

“Blenheim is a great event and I am looking forward to seeing the new cross country fences and layout that I know they have planned for this year,” Jackson said.

This year the Fidelity Blenheim Palace International Horse Trials will be held from September 6 to 9 with a programme which not only includes the CCI*** and 8 and 9 year old CIC*** international eventing classes but also the Eventer Challenge Classes for Pony Clubs, Riding Clubs and BE 100 competitors plus a full schedule of demonstrations and display.

Michael Jackson and Jagganath over the new zebra jump





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