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New British Eventing Under 18's Champion Crowned
London, UK

Following a foot-perfect round in the CCI 1* at the Subaru Houghton International Horse Trials at the weekend, 17-year-old Sarah Hutchings from Swindon was crowned British Eventing's Under 18 Eventing Champion.

Riding her own 14-year-old gelding Horus De Ligniere, Sarah, who admits that she normally gets on better with mares, went double clear to win. The CCI 1* incorporated the Under 18's Championship - thus Sarah beat fellow senior competitors - with a fantastic score of 42.2. The pairing has only been together since last October and this was their first CCI 1*.

Sarah is the first British Eventing Under 18 Champion not to have contested a Junior Trial, although she had a lot of success with her pony, Baydale Velvet, at Pony Trials. Sarah was still riding ponies last year, having only these last few months switched to competing horses, a feat in itself.

"Winning here was really wonderful," Sarah enthused. "When I first tried Horus I thought he was special - but just didn't realize how much!

"Houghton rode really well and there were lots of questions to keep us concentrating all the way around. It was amazing to just pip Daisy Dick, because she is such an amazing rider and I really look up to her. I expect it will be along time before I can even dream of doing that again!"

Sarah, still in awe of her win, plans to do a couple of Intermediates by the end of the season and looks forward to the CCI 2* Under 21 Championships in the autumn.

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