STRATFORD’S Isabella Benfield excelled riding her own pony Cookie to win several prizes at the Riding for the Disabled (RDA) National Championships held at Hartpury College in Gloucestershire.
The 17-year-old, who lives in Shipston, rode a clear round in Grade 2 Showjumping on day one of the championships to score 83 per cent and place second.
And to mark 10 years of showjumping within RDA, judges Sally O’Neil and Mike Butcher presented her with a cup for the new RDA Showjumping Rider Award to commend the best combination from all the showjumping classes and the equine that they would most like to take home.
However, Benfield was sadly unable to attend the presentation due to her participation in the SEIB Showing Class.
Despite rising temperatures, some superb preparation from Benfield’s team helped the pair put on a lovely show and secure fifth place overall.
The following day, Benfield and Cookie impressed again in the Grade 4 Dressage class to score 70.75 percent and achieve another second place finish – missing out on first by just 0.5 per cent.
Benfield’s rosette was presented by Trustee of RDA and participant Emma Wells.
Group Chair, Donna Jenkins, said: “It was an amazing couple of days for Isabella. The heat was a challenge, but her resilience came through. Well done to ‘Team Isabella’ and congratulations from all of us at Stratford upon Avon RDA.
“Due to adverse weather conditions the Sunday classes were cancelled. A wise decision, but a disappointment to our other riders, Harry, Heather and Charlotte, who had qualified to enter the Countryside Challenge classes and were looking forward to competing.
“Hopefully, another opportunity will come their way in the future”
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