Olympia, The London International Horse Show is set to welcome the next generation of British Show Jumping talent, who will compete in front of the 90,000 visitors expected to attend. 24 riders have been invited to take part in the The Voltaire Design Under-25 British Championship, which will be held on the morning of Friday 21 December, and who will battle it out for the Championship Title in Olympia’s impressive Grand Hall.
Although still young, the Under-25 riders have already achieved a remarkable amount in their relatively short Show Jumping careers. And none more so than Jessica Mendoza, who, in 2016, at the age of 20, became the youngest competitor in 40 years to join the Team GBR Show Jumping squad, in which she was travelling reserve for the Rio 2016 Olympic Games.
Some of these youthful equestrians benefit from receiving an incredibly high level of training. 17-year-old Robert Murphy worked in close quarters with the legendary British Show Jumper, Nick Skelton at Olympian, Laura Kraut’s stables in Florida, USA. Skelton became the British equestrian story of the Rio Games when he won individual gold at the ripe old age of 58. This followed his Olympic team gold four years before in London. It appears some of his success is rubbing off on Murphy who, in 2014, claimed a gold medal at the Children, Junior and Young Rider European Championships as a 13-year-old.
Fans of the sport will certainly recognise some of the surnames competing this year, including Jack Whitaker and Oliver Fletcher, who will both be attempting to emulate their parents’ many successes. Fletcher is the son of former Show Jumping Olympian, Graham Fletcher, whose wife was also a London 2012 reserve rider. In an unlikely turn of events, Whitaker – on his 17th birthday – imitated his father, Michael’s phenomenal 1984 Los Angeles Olympics silver medal by claiming a Youth Olympics team silver medal in Buenos Aires, Argentina.
Entries for The Voltaire Design Under-25 British Championship:
Leonie Aitkenhead – Jimmy Mack Van Berkenbroeck
Millie Allen – Balou Star
Graham Babes – Boucheron
Harry Charles – Chicago Boy
Sienna Charles – Chinta van Geluut Z
Jessica Dimmock – Billy in Fashion
Oli Fletcher – Persimmon
William Fletcher – Hello Disckoboy DN
Graham Gillespie – Andretti
Jodie Hall McAteer – Fantom
Amy Inglis – Wishes
Jessica Mendoza – Kay
Robert Murphy – Newbridges Chablis
Christie Pritchard – Waldemar
Jake Saywell – Havinia Van De Roshoeve
Joe Stockdale – Gunner II
Georgia Tame – Cash Up
Oliver Tuff – Darino B
Emily Ward – Millionin Mind
Jack Whitaker – Arlo De Blonde
James Whitaker – Glenavadra Brilliant
James Wilson – Imagine de Muze
Chloe Winchester – Konstop
James Winter – Cosmo Boy