Katie Bedwin, 21, from Rudgwick in West Sussex has been named Endurance GB’s Reserve National Young Rider Champion with Aberllwyd Ibn Phariz, owned by Welshpool-based Sue Higgins.
Katie is currently in her final year of a paediatric nursing degree from the Royal Alexandra Children’s Hospital in Brighton. She has represented Great Britain in Young Rider teams previously is aiming for the Young Rider World Championships in Italy this September. She was introduced to the sport by her grandmother Rosemary Attfield, a renowned trainer and former team selector and coach.
Katie won the title after taking second place in a 120km class held at The King’s Forest near Thetford in Suffolk.
Katie explained: “What a weekend we had at Kings Forest, with secondin the CEI 2* for Magdy and third in the CEI 2* YR for Phariz.
“Sue Higgins asked me to take the ride of Phariz at endurance competitions for the 2018 season. But in May 2018, she sustained an injury, so we arranged for Phariz to come to live and be trained by me. We haven’t looked back since.
“Kings Forest was Phariz’s last qualfier for this year’s World Young Rider Championships at San Rossore in Italy in September.”
She added: “None of this would be possible without the amazing support I receive both from my family and from sponsors and professionals involved in keeping my horses in peak condition.
The horses are fuelled by Baileys Horse Feeds, their daily supplements and electrolytes come from Feedmark, they have biomechanics assessments from EquiLaterals, regular physiotherapy from PhysioFi and amazing saddles and fitting from The Bespoke Saddle Co LTD and KM Elite Products.
“Thank you also to ride organiser Dianne Luke, her family and the volunteers who make Kings Forest happen. It was very special to be part of the 25th anniversary and I will treasure our awards.”
Phariz’s owner Sue Higgins said: “A big thank you to Katie Bedwin for looking after my boy so well and helping him on the way to achieving his full potential. It’s even better because I can be part of it without all the hard work – except on the ride day! Thanks also to Katie’s crew – what a great team.”
Endurance GB’s new Young Rider Champion, Suffolk-based Madison (Maddie) Pomroy, landed the title after a strong performance riding Roz Plail’s horse Odie in the 120km class at The King’s Forest Ride near Thetford.
Rebecca Kinnarney, Chair of Endurance GB said: “This was a brilliant achievement by both Maddie and Katie, who are both talented endurance riders with a great future ahead of them.”
Endurance GB Young Rider Chef D ’Equipe Jo Chisholm, who is stepping down from the role after three years due to family business commitments said: “I have huge admiration for Young Riders competing at this level such as Katie and Maddie.
“It is very tough financially and also logistically sometimes for them to go through the qualifiers alone with three FEI level rides to complete at 1* and 2* level and the horse they are aiming to qualify having to do two 2* rides.
“At the same time as riding and training, they are usually at college or university and doing exams or placements so the pressures are great. We do have a talented pool of riders bidding for places at next year’s Championships and so Maddie is in great company.
“Gaining a place on the team is a fantastic achievement and good experience and preparation for moving on to compete internationally at senior level and I wish Katie, who will be moving up to senior level competition next season, and Maddie every success in their quest for team honours.”
Paying tribute to Jo Chisholm for her stewardship of the Young Rider Squad during her time as Chef D’Equipe, Crawley-based John Robertson, Endurance GB’s Chair of International said: “Jo has been a superb Chef D’Equipe and given a great lead and support to our Young Riders both as someone who has enjoyed considerable success in the sport herself but also through her calm manner which has enabled every member of the teams she has managed to give of their best. Endurance GB is grateful to her for her hard work and support for these Young Riders.”