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Moving on UP by William Eustace

I qualified for the Pony Club Spring Festival on the 31st of December my 12th birthday. I entered the Debut (85cm) and the Challenge (95cm). It was the first time I had jumped a course of 95cm at a show and mum and I were really pleased as I qualified for both classes. We did not realise that the festival was such a big deal and decided to go as our first stay away this year.

The lead up to the show was terrible with flooding, snow and ice which meant I only had 6 lessons to prepare! I was really lucky that the amazing Showjumper Elliott Smith was able to help me. I’ve always looked up to him as a role model as he taught me through the pony club when I started riding and he isn’t that old himself, but already rides at top level.

We arrived at the Spring Festival at Arena UK on Friday night with three other friends from my Pony Club the Taunton Vale Harriers. We settled Rafe and thought we’d have a look around.

As you can see from the photos, the jumps were huge! Some were 1.10!! I was still proud of jumping 95cm!! Mum said I didn’t have to do the classes on Saturday as they were for the Challenge and the Debut on Sunday would be smaller but I really wanted to have a go as Elliott had been upping the height we were practicing over. Mum didn’t eat supper that night but I did as I was hungry!

All the classes I jumped had between 60-100 competitors in, they lasted for hours!

On Saturday morning I jumped the speed class and came 9th!! I was gutted rosettes only went to 8th! I then did the championship but didn’t make the final. Which was fine as I was one of the youngest there as some riders were 25!!