In addition to hosting the world’s best international Show Jumping competitors, London International Horse Show will also welcome some of the sport’s rising stars at ExCeL London from 13–18 December.
The Yeti Under-25 British Show Jumping Championship will kick-off the Jumping action at the 2023 Show on Thursday 14 December, featuring some of the country’s top young riders. Oliver Fletcher – the son of former London International Horse Show Grand Prix winner, Graham Flether – heads an impressive start list. Fletcher was part of the team to win a bronze medal at the Young Rider European Championships earlier this year. His teammates at that Championship, Nicole Lockhead Anderson, Alexander McLean and Claudia Moore – who in 2022 finished second at the FEI Youth Equestrian Games – will also line-up in London, making for an exhilarating competition. Further competition is set to come from 15-year-old Noora Von Bulow, fresh from a 1.40m Grand Prix victory at Opglabbeek at the weekend, and Red Morgan, who is no stranger to success at the London International Horse Show, having won the 148cm Pony class in 2019.
Portia Taylor-Wilson riding Ballybur Oh Jessie at London International Horse Show 2022 (London International Horse Show/Peter Nixon)
The Show’s smallest competitors will be taking centre stage on Sunday 17 December in The Littleton Manor Equestrian 128cms Championship. The class is set to be fast and furious, with some extremely competitive partnerships having qualified, including last year’s victor Portia Taylor-Wilson, who this year will have a new mount – Doylan Honey Glint. Taylor-Wilson is likely to face stiff competition from 12-year-old Ella Kay, who won the 128cm Championship earlier this year at the Horse of the Year Show. Making her London International debut in 2023 will be Annabel Rose Widdowson, riding the 22-year-old Bunbury Conquest, who made history as the youngest person to win the 128cm final at the Royal International Horse Show in the summer, at just eight-years-old.
Widdowson, who will be the youngest in the class, riding the oldest pony, said: “I watched the 128cm competition at The London International Horse Show last year and it made me really hope I would be able to compete there this year. I am so excited to be competing at a show with all the famous riders that I look up to. I also can’t wait to watch the Longines FEI Jumping World CupTM while I’m there."
Later in the day, The Voltaire Design Mini Stakes (148cms), will be equally thrilling. Cate Kerr, who has already experienced success at the Show, winning the 128cm class in 2021, is sure to use this experience to her advantage. However Kerr will come up against Hollie Gerken, riding Ramiro High Society, who are currently the leading combination in the British Showjumping Gold 148cm League following their victory of the Leading Pony Showjumper of the Year at the Horse of the Year Show. Third and fourth behind Gerken in that class, Georgia Cooper-Hall and Izabella Annie Rogers, will both head to London to attempt to reverse the form. Darcy Breen is another to make her debut at the London International Horse Show, riding the grey mare, One Saharah. The 14-year-old was a member of the bronze medal-winning Children on Horses European Championship team in July.
Show Director, Simon Brooks-Ward, said: “We are very proud to enable the next generation of show jumping champions to compete on an international stage at such a world-renowned show. The experience that they gain from such an opportunity will be invaluable in progressing their careers, and the classes are always extremely competitive and exciting to watch."
For a complete list of entries for The Yeti Under-25 British Championship, The Littleton Manor Equestrian 128cms Championship and The Voltaire Design Mini Stakes (148cms), please click here.
For tickets to London International Horse Show, please click here.