Last week’s British team silver medal winner Kitty King had tears in her eyes on Friday afternoon watching her former GB squad ride, Five Boys, win the inaugural Kent & Masters BE90 Arena Eventing Championship Final with her friend Holly Cowley.
This final was part of a two–pronged regional opportunity from British Eventing to give amateur riders a chance to take part in an Arena-format eventing championship in the north at Blair Castle (September 9) or for southern riders at Blenheim Palace International Horse Trials.
Cowley and the 23-year-old former racehorse by King Luthier qualified for the championship at West Wilts Horse Trials’ Arena Eventing class. They were presented with a Kent & Masters voucher for a saddle of their choice from their range as well as a voucher for a BE Membership for 2016 for being the highest placed non-members. To help the top 10 on their road to eventing success in future, all riders received generous BE Training vouchers plus Kent & Masters completion rosettes.
Wiltshire based Cowley has had Five Boys for seven years since he retired from top-level eventing. “I always had him with the prospect of gaining some real experience. When I first took him on he was really tricky and we had a few moments but I have done quite a bit of arenaeventing with him through the winter, as well as riding club stuff, so this has been amazing.
“I am over the moon to have won a saddle for him and so excited to learn that I have won a BE Membership for 2016; I haven’t been a BE Member for some time as I couldn’t really afford it so I am really excited about competing him in BE classes next year.”
King, who made her senior GB team debut on Five Boys 10 years ago at the European Championships at Blenheim, had an emotional afternoon watching her friends enjoy their success.
“I gave him to Holly to look after in his retirement from the top end of the sport because I knew he would be looked after really well. She adores him – I think he has more rugs than I have clothes!” King said.
“This class is ideal for a horse like him; he doesn’t like to do the dressage part of eventing any more but really lights up when he is in the arena environment. He was amazing in there – as soon as he went into the arena he was like ‘I’m on it’ – he has so much attitude!”
The Kent & Masters Arena BE100 Eventing Championship Final will take place in the Bladon Arena at Blenheim on Sunday afternoon, from 3:45pm.