AT JUST thirteen years of age, Emily Ward took on her peers in the Team Murka & World Class Programme U23 Championships at Olympia and scored a convincing victory in an exciting competition.
Neston-based Emily was first into the arena and jumped an immaculate clear round that impressed international show jumpers Peter Charles and Marc Hautzager who commentated on what a mature ride she had given Witch, who is owned by Michael Whitaker.
Thirteen other riders joined Emily and Witch in the jump-off, with World Class Development riders, Joe Clayton and Abbie Squires setting the pace.
Emily followed Abbie, and while taking the longer smoother route used Witch’s speed across the ground to brilliant effect and win in a time of 38.69 seconds and clinching the first prize of £5,100.
On winning the prestigious U23 Championship class, Emily said: “I was very shocked but also excited to win, my horse tried her heart out and we have a very good relationship, she will now have a rest over the Christmas holidays, before tackling some big competitions next year and I would definitely like to come back and defend my U23 Championship title.”