- (Published:17 July 2019)
Endurance GB’s new Young Rider Champion, Suffolk-based Madison (Maddie) Pomroy, has spoken of her dream of representing her Team GB at next year’s Young Rider European Championships.
The teenager landed the title after a strong performance riding Roz Plail’s horse Odie in the 120km class at The King’s Forest Ride near Thetford.
Maddie, 17, has been competing in the sport for the past six years after completing her first endurance ride, covering 64km in two days with her pony Milky Way, aged just 11.
“My grandmother Jane Girling got me involved as she has been competing in endurance for a long time. I was slightly thrown in at the deep end doing a two-day ride and I kept saying, ‘I’m really tired’, but my grandma wouldn’t let me give up. It was a real eye-opener and I was hooked.”
The King’s Forest is a happy hunting ground for Maddie as she completed her first 120km ride there the day before her 16th birthday with her grandmother Jane’s horse Zaferan back in 2017.
“We train over similar countryside around the forest tracks near the Suffolk coast so Odie has got used to the going in East Anglia having moved here from Devon last autumn,” she says.
“It was my first International 2* (120km) ride and I wasn’t sure how we would get on. I misjudged things slightly at the start as we went off quite strongly. But helped by my crew of my grandmother, Jane, my father Chris and sister Ella and with assistance from Bella Fricker who pitched in to help at one of the crew points, he was soon back on track. On the first loop, I was leading the UAE riders but let them go past as Odie was getting wound up. On the second loop I caught them up again. I rode the last loop with Martin McNamara, [the race winner from Ireland], but let him go on ahead as I didn’t want a racing finish and wanted to make sure we completed safely to secure the title.”
“Odie is just a fantastic horse and it is such a great opportunity to be able to ride him. I learned a lot from this ride to help us for the future and our plan is to compete next at Euston Park in August and then if things go well, we will try for the British Young Rider team going to the European Championships in Spain next summer.”
Odie’s owner Roz Plail said: “A huge thanks must also go to Tim and Sarah Dennis for taking Odie into training at their racing stables in Cornwall, whilst I was pregnant and then poorly, and getting him in such fabulous race ready condition for when Maddie started loaning him in October. All credit to Maddie too for maintaining his fitness levels over the winter months. I am excited to see how they progress over the rest of the season.”
Katie Bedwin, 21, from Rudgwick in West Sussex was named Reserve National Young Rider Champion with Aberllwyd Ibn Phariz, owned by Welshpool-based Sue Higgins.
Katie is currently in her final year of a paediatric nursing degree from the Royal Alexandra Children’s Hospital in Brighton. She has represented Great Britain in Young Rider teams previously and is aiming for the Young Rider World Championships in Italy this year. She was also introduced to the sport by her grandmother Rosemary Attfield, a renowned trainer and former team selector and coach...
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