Tuesday 14th September 2010 by C. Freeman
Year 8 student Alicia Keen took part in the British Junior Championships show-jumping event in Wales recently where she came 13th out of 93 competitors in her class. Alicia completed a clear round, jumping a set series of fences on her pony, Rebel, before then having to compete against the top riders in a 'jump-off', riding around a reduced course in the best possible time.
Alicia, who has been riding for three years, said: 'I compete most weekends and sometimes we go cross country training. I would like to try one-day eventing where you get to do show jumping, dressage and cross-country all in one day. In Wales I got on really well because it was the biggest competition I had been in to date and all weekend I went clear which means I didn't have a pole down in the two-foot nine class and got a rosette and certificate.'
Alicia rides ten-year-old Rebel most nights after school and she also has a foal, Remi. Although he is just four-months-old he will grow into a large chestnut or bay horse that Alicia will be able to ride when she is an adult.
She said: 'Riding is my main hobby and I had been wanting to ride since I was quite young. I used to go to stables near Northampton for lessons but I got spotted at a show and now I have a trainer who who is an ex-international show-jumper who I work with and ride some of his horses as he owns a stud farm. I'd like to be either a vet or famous horsewoman when I am older.'
Alicia's other recent successes have included winning the Walsgrave Open and West Haddon showjumping championships. She has also been chosen to represent Northamptonshire and Cambridgeshire in the British Show-Jumping Junior Team and has received a prestigious award from the Master Saddlers' Guild in recognition of achievement and commitment within the junior academy.