Much local success at international festival

Isobel Le Pla riding Lightnin Quik Chic at the Garden of England International Festival of Western Riding in Bodiam

Isobel Le Pla riding Lightnin Quik Chic at the Garden of England International Festival of Western Riding in Bodiam

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Local riders enjoyed great success at the Garden of England International Festival of Western Riding.

During the five days of intense competition, eight nations were represented and more than 100 horses competed in the inside and outside arenas at The Bodiam International Arena.

Open rider Doug Allen, based at Sterling Quarter Horses, won both the big open reining classes and there were some outstanding results in the youth section.

Isobel Le Pla, competing for the first time in the AQHA classes, won the Novice Youth Hi Point Cup, sponsored by G. Collins and Sons, as well as taking the Novice Youth All Around title.

She also won both the BR Green as Grass L2 reining classes. Isobel, from Etchingham, is a student at Robertsbridge Community College and is hoping to win a place on the AQHA Youth World Cup team in Texas next summer.

Another very successful young rider, Tabitha Sternberg Allen, made her mark in both the junior and senior divisions, winning both Limited Non Pro Classes, as well as securing the Youth All Around title.

Tabitha is also hoping to represent Britain at next year’s Youth World Cup in the United States and is getting ready to travel to Italy later this year as a British entry in the FEI European Young Riders Reining Championships.

The girls are busy raising funds in order to attend the Youth Cup, a biannual event attracting 18 -20 nations from as far afield as Japan and Australia. They are also actively seeking sponsorship from any companies or individuals interested in supporting them.

Doug Allen, Jessica Sternberg, Francesca Sternberg and Josh Collins, all based at the Bodiam International Arena, secured their places on the senior team to represent Britain at next month’s European FEI Championships in Germany, a fantastic result for the locality.