Valkyrie Makes Championship Flight!

Suffolk rider Chloe Winchester added her name to an illustrious Horse of the Year Show honours list at the LG Arena in Birmingham on Wednesday.

The 20-year-old, who lives in Gislingham, won the Canaan Farm Young Riders Championship of Great Britain, and in doing so followed former previous winners like London 2012 gold medallist Nick Skelton, Michael Whitaker, Ellen Whitaker and Robert Whitaker.

And she did it in style, clocking 36.97 seconds aboard Avoca Valkyrie, an 11-year-old mare owned by her mother Gilly, in a four horse jump-off to win by more than 1.5 seconds from Oxfordshire-based Alfie Bradstock, riding Caicos.

“I am over the moon. I can’t believe it has actually happened,” said a tearful Chloe, who competed for Great Britain at this year’s European Young Rider Championships in Italy.

“I have been watching HOYS for years and years, so to actually win here is amazing.

“Looking at the previous winners of this class is just amazing, and that lap of honour, I just wanted to go round and round in that arena!

“I have learnt so much from being involved with the Great Britain Young Riders, and I was fourth in the Arena UK grand prix recently, so that really set us up for here.

“The mare is unbelievable. She has been on really good form, and she was so careful for me today.

“Going into the jump-off, I was second to go, so I was hoping to post a clear round and be fast enough.”

Photo: E.S. Photography

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