Last year, nine-year-old Georgia Hogan was jumping the 128cm bronze league with her 20-year-old mare Darth Moll, but she has taken a precocious leap up to top tracks this season, claiming her first Hickstead ticket at South View Equestrian Centre (12-13 February) when she delivered the sole treble clear of a winter 128cm second round.
Although the pair were last year’s bronze league national champions, Georgia’s mother Ruth admitted she thought the partnership was not quite ready for winter qualifiers.
“On the Wednesday, she begged me to please let her jump it and I said I thought she should do the springboard and the Graham Heath [Equestrian handicap qualifier] instead. She asked that if she jumped those well, could she do the winter qualifier on the second day, so I agreed,” Ruth said.
Georgia jumped clear in a technical first round, after which she knew she had already claimed a Hickstead ticket, as three of the other five clears were already qualified.
“We knew Georgia and Sophia Rogers [Essenar Jinja Ninja] had the tickets and I told her she didn’t have to jump again, but she wanted to,” Ruth said. “She was one of only two clears [the other was Nya Harriman and April Star V] and I told her to leave it on a good note, but she was begging me to please let her carry on.
“In the end, I was overruled by Frank in the commentary box who said, ‘The child has overruled her mother and is jumping the third round!’ Because she’s only nine, the whole arena was behind her and there was a phenomenal atmosphere. She went out to prove her mother wrong and she did it!”
Georgia trains with Abi Bevan and also benefits from being able to use the equestrian facilities at her school, Myddelton College in Denbigh, North Wales. Before the show, Georgia had been having some trouble with brakes, so they changed the keen mare’s bit to a Waterford Tom Thumb.
“She felt really in control and as if she was really enjoying it. I’d also been working on using my leg to get her to bend around the corners,” Georgia said. “I felt pretty confident in the ring.
“I’m looking forward to taking her to Hickstead. When my brother jumped there, someone said to me, ‘You’ll be here in a few years’ time’ and now I’m going!”
You can read more from South View in this week’s issue of Horse & Hound, in the shops Thursday 24 February.
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