A Fylde teenager has revealed her delight at securing a place at the prestigious Horse of the Year Championships after winning a national qualifier.
Georgia Blakemore, 12, of Lodge Lane, Lytham, will perform with her pony, Tita II, in front of up to 5,000 people at the world’s most famous horse show in October.
The teenager, who goes to Kirkham Grammar School, said: “I’m really excited to be taking part in the competition – it was a great feeling to win the qualifier and now I’m really looking forward to the event itself now.”
Georgia was one of just 24 riders who reached the final after competing in eight qualifiers across the country.
At each event, the top three won a place at the showpiece competition, with the teenager triumphing at Crofton Manor in Portsmouth.
Her mum, Catherine, who supports Georgia alongside the teenager’s father Ken and sister Niamh, said: “We’ve travelled across the UK supporting her at events in Scotland, Wales and Yorkshire and I’m delighted she has done it.
“At Portsmouth, there were 13 to 14 fences in the first round and you are not allowed to make a mistake – make one and you are ruled out.
“Then there was a second round, then a jump-off.
“She was in shock to be honest when she won, but delighted afterwards.
“For me it was a great feeling to know she’d done it.”
Georgia, who works once a week with Chorley-based trainer Janet Kaye and practices as much as she can in her spare time, will perform at the LG Arena – formerly the NEC – in Birmingham.
She is allowed a practice run on the morning of the event, before competing against 23 others in the final in front of the waiting crowds in the 138cm class – the height of Tita.
Catherine added: “I know she’ll be nervous but she has done so well so far – we are all so proud of her.”