A YOUNG up and coming eventing star from Claverdon is riding high after moving one step closer to competing at Badminton Horse Trials.
Teenager Alex Haynes won his first ever British Eventing event in taking the BE90 title at the Shelford Manor Horse Trials in Nottinghamshire.
It means he will now compete in the regional finals this summer when he hopes to finish in the top 25 per cent and qualify for the Badminton Horse Trials Grassroots Championships.
The 18-year-old received a ‘leg up’ last year after securing sponsorship from Warwickshire residential property firm ehB Residential and managing director Edward Bromwich.
He has since focused on rising through the ranks by gaining more experience competing with his horse Overley Moonraker.
Haynes said: “I started riding when I was eight-years-old and got into eventing when I was 13. I also joined Pony Club and watched eventing competitions on TV, but I really started to get into it when I got my own horse.
“I started competing when I was 11 and did a couple of local shows. I have since had a couple of wins that were unaffiliated but this is my first win under British Eventing so it was quite a big competition for me.
“I always go out with the aim to win but in this case I was also going out to give Overley Moonraker more experience. I then realised I had an OK dressage score as I was in fourth.
“I bought Overley Moonraker when he was three-years-old and broke him in at four with the help of my trainer Colina Pickles. It is a great achievement to win at Shelford and it is very rewarding to see all my hard work paying off.
“As a young rider it is great to have the support of ehB Residential. It’s really nice to know I have the backing of Edward and the rest of the ehB team as I try to get my name out there.
“It has always been a dream of mine to compete at Badminton and if I come in the top 25 per cent at the regional finals I will qualify for the grassroots category next year.”
Mr Bromwich said it has been great to see Alex progress on the eventing circuit.
“We are very happy to be sponsoring Alex as he develops into a fantastic young eventing rider,” he said.
“We couldn’t be more pleased to see him win his first affiliated event which has opened the doors for him to compete at the regional finals in the summer and hopefully progress to Badminton.”