STRATFORD School student Leyla Wheelwright, Year 11, has achieved a remarkable milestone for someone so young when she qualified to compete in the Horse of the Year show in the Working Hunter Pony class this month.
Leyla and her pony, Colin, have worked all year, since she acquired him in December, in order to qualify for the championship.
Leyla has been horse riding for the last fourteen years and has been competing for ten of those.
Her typical week can see her practising for more than thirty hours in order to keep herself and her pony at their peak performance. Leyla and Colin were one of only twenty pairings to qualify for the competition during which they were marked for presentation, style and the clearness of their round.
The course at The NEC Genting Arena, consisted of twelve fences each 110cm high, none of the competitors were able to see the course before they took part.
Leyla’s pony Colin was the youngest to compete at only seven-years-old and the pair finished in a very creditable thirteenth place.
Leyla will be competing again next year and her ultimate goal is to qualify for the Olympics in the future.