Three Shetland riders are celebrating after they were selected to go through to the finals of the Shetland Pony Grand National at the London International Horse Show, Olympia, in December.
Following a long season attending assessment trials all over the country the three girls, Jade Stevenson, 14, from Nesting, Bronagh Goodlad, 12, from Quarff, and Hannah Anderson,10, from Dunrossness, were three of the 18 riders shortlisted, along with their ponies HRE Dollar, Clothie Flyn and Jared of Musselburgh, to attend the final selection day which was held last Sunday at Arena UK in Grantham, Lincs.
The combinations were put through their paces under simulated Olympia conditions to assess their skills, abilities and speed in racing as a group within a confined area. The riders and their mounts were scrutinised by a committee of five adjudicators and at the end of the process the top 10 to go forward to Olympia were announced and everyone was overjoyed to hear the three Shetland jockeys’ names announced.
A spokeswoman for the Shetland Pony Riding & Driving group said: “It is quite an amazing result to have three riders from Shetland make it through to the top 10 in the UK, especially when the field started out with almost 50 combinations vying for a place. So very well done to Jade, Bronagh and Hannah and not forgetting their amazing ponies.”
It is a huge commitment to compete at national level and the girls would not be able to accomplish any of this without all of the generous help and support they receive from so many sources. They would like to thank everyone involved in helping them to compete in their sport, in particular NorthLink Ferries, Net Services Shetland, Clothie Shetland Pony Stud, Broothom Ponies, Shetland Pony Riding & Driving Group, SIC sport and leisure and last but by no means least Elinor Bosanquet, Helen Thomson, David Goodlad and Susan Goodlad for taking them to Arena UK and back.