A YOUNG showjumper is looking forward to a busy summer after impressing at a prestigious royal event in front of the Queen.
Helen Mercer, 23, recently performed in front of thousands of people during the five-day Royal Windsor Horse Show, at Windsor Castle, with her trusty pony Magic.
The talented duo performed in the British Riding Club’s Top Score event, which involves horses and ponies jumping over as many different fences as they can in 60 seconds, and they managed to finish 11th out of more than 25 riders.
Helen and eight-year-old Magic, who is a black Friesian Fell, were awarded two rosettes for their efforts, one for being a finalist and one for taking part in the event.
She rides three other ponies – Macauley, Gypsy and Unique – and has a busy summer ahead of her.
Helen will be competing in two disciplines at the Championships of Great Britain at Caldicot, in Wales, between August 19-21, tackling six courses a day with Magic.
But before that she will be appearing at the Trailblazers National Dressage Championship, at Stoneleigh, with Macauley, between August 1-4.
Helen, who spends up to six hours a day training, grooming and riding her ponies, said: “I was really pleased with our performance at the Royal Windsor Horse Show.
“It was our first time at this event and I was surprised just how well Magic did.
“We both enjoyed the experience though and it was great to ride in front of the Queen.”
Support worker Helen, who lives in the Rift House, area of Hartlepool, is a member of the Dalton Piercy-based South Durham Saddle Club and has been riding for the past 12 years.
Helen, who is going out with David Williams, 22, an apprentice electrician, added: “I have a very busy summer ahead of me and I couldn’t do it without the help and support of my family and friends.
“As well as the competitions I also have the area qualifiers for the British Riding Club.
“There is also the National Championship in Lincoln in September. It is constant work once you have qualified for a competition because horses lose 30 per cent of their natural potential on different ground as they are out of their comfort zone.
“Therefore you have to work even harder to reach a high level of performance.”
The Royal Windsor Horse Show is the largest outdoor equestrian show in the UK with more than 3,000 horses and ponies taking part in more than 250 different events.
It has been running for more than 65 years and is held inside the Queen’s private grounds at Windsor Castle.
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