Equestrian: Ida and Willem are the champs

A RIDER from Saffron Walden has become a champion after impressing the judges enough to fend off competition from 46 others at a competition in Gloucestershire.

Ida de Fouw won the prestigious Petplan Equine Elementary Open Championship held at the Hartpury Arena after registering a score of 68.79 per cent with her horse Willem van Oranje.

She is now in contention to win the High Achiever Award, which has been created to help recognise the combination that achieves the highest overall percentage score across all the Petplan Equine championship classes.

Ida, a regional sales manager for CEVA Animal Health, has had Willem for two years and said; “He was very green when I got him and couldn’t even trot in a straight line. He’s quite clever and usually he is very good but he got a bit excited in the prizegiving ceremony.”

Now in their 12th year, the area festivals give riders the opportunity to experience competition in true championship conditions but in a relaxed and friendly environment.

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Over 2,000 amateur dressage riders from all over the UK competed at 15 events across the country from last year, for a chance to qualify to ride in the prestigious finals.

Head of marketing at Petplan Equine Alison Andrew said: “The standard of dressage among riders in the competition has improved year on year and I would like to congratulate Ida on her fantastic win and wish her the very best of luck for the future.”

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