Young rider Arianne Fraser from Whalsay returned recently from another successful trip to the Shetland Pony Grand National at the London International Horse Show at Olympia.
One of only 10 young people from throughout the UK to qualify, she was the only rider representing Shetland.
Arianne, 11, took part in nine races over the six days and had good results in most with a win on the Sunday evening. Her mount, 18-year-old Clothie Uriebell, was quite excited to be back at Olympia and gave away none of his years with his exuberant efforts. Each year the Grand National jockeys raise funds for charity as well as competing and this year’s nominated charity was again Great Ormond Street Children’s Hospital Charity. Arianne raised funds for Great Ormond Street but decided also to include the CLAN 1,2,3 campaign in her efforts. She managed to raise £800 which was split equally between the two charities. The Olympia qualifying campaign will begin again in the spring of the year with Arianne once again trying her utmost to get through. Other Shetland riders will also join her in the race for one of the 10 places, so good luck to them all in their efforts. The Shetland Pony Grand National is open to jockeys aged between nine and 13 with a height limit of five foot one inch, riding registered Shetland ponies.
It has taken considerable dedication and hard work on Arianne’s part to get to the level she has but she said none of it would have been possible without the help and support of her family, friends and generous sponsors.
She said thanks must go to NorthLink Ferries, the SIC sport and leisure service, JWJ (Whalsay) Ltd, Whalsay Boating and Sports Club, Shetland Catch, Lerwick Building Centre, Calum Younger Reach Fund, Whalsay Riding Club, Broothom Ponies, Clothie Shetland Pony Stud, Kinaldie Farm and the many generous Shetland donors. It was all very much appreciated.