Market Rasen show jumper Georgie wins prestigious national title

Georgie Marriott and Blue Boy EMN-170305-171728002
Georgie Marriott and Blue Boy EMN-170305-171728002

There were tears of joy for young show jumper George Marriott as she claimed a brilliant win at the Pony of the Year Show.

The national five-day show is the premier event for ponies and was run in association with British Show Jumping at Bury Farm Equestrian Centre.

The competition consisted of two qualifying heats for the final on the last day with more than 80 competitors bidding to get through.

Georgie, from Market Rasen, and Murthwaite Boy Blue (Smokey) jumped both rounds well and were pleased to qualify for the Novice Grand Prix final.

The De Aston School pupil showed excellent composure in the under 16s final to ride a fantastic clear round, gaining her a place in the jump-off along with 21 rivals.

Georgie and Smokey were 10th to go out and again held their nerve to perform a perfect jump-off course, going clear in 34.73secs to beat the previous fastest time by two seconds.

Georgie and family then had a nerve-wracking wait to see what the other 11 competitors could do.

But no-one could touch this benchmark as the 15-year-old Lincolnshire rider took the prestigious title, and promptly burst into tears.

Mum Liz believes the prize is just reward for hours of hard graft, determination and dedication in the three years since the horse and rider became a team.

The pair also compete together with the Burton Hunt Pony Club,

“I was at the competition with her and to win something as big as this is amazing and it’s still sinking in gradually,” she said.

“Many of the children taking part are from very wealthy show jumping families, who have grooms and trainers, but Georgie completely looks after Smokey herself.

“She mucks out her stable every day, feeds him, washes and prepares him for competitions, and is dedicated to training him at night and weekends, working relentlessly on anything that might stand in her way at a competition.

“(Dad) Chris and I are so proud of her and all that she has achieved so far.”

Her next aim is newcomers second round and eventually to compete at the Horse of the Year Show.