Young Northampton girl pony racing around the country

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12-year-old Northampton born and bred, Grace got into horses and all things equestrian at the young age of 2. She went through a phase of biting so was made a sticker chart and told - when you get to 20 stickers, you can have whatever you want. She responded ‘I want to ride a pony and I want you to do it with me’. She got her 20 stickers and from that very first sit on a pony her life changed.

12 year old Northampton born and bred, Grace got into horses and all things equestrian at the young age of 2. She went through a phase of biting so was made a sticker chart and told - when you get to 20 stickers, you can have whatever you want. She responded ‘I want to ride a pony and I want you to do it with me’. She got her 20 stickers and from that very first sit on a pony her life changed. She went for a pony ride and just wouldn’t leave. I was told she was a natural talent and to invest in some lessons. So I enrolled her at East Lodge Farm riding school; she would go for her first lesson and would not leave. The staff said - groom a pony, muck out stables, bring a packed lunch next week and you can stay the day etc. She then spent years on yards earning her lessons - mucking out, grooming, helping with riding lessons, etc. In August of 2020, after 6 years of her working away, we purchased her a pony named Ruby. She has taught Grace so much; how to ride the quirky type, how talent means nothing without hard work and mostly how to love and care for something else first and foremost, before yourself. Grace and Ruby began pony racing in January 2022 and since their very first race they have been in the winner’s enclosure! This has been consistent for three seasons now. They have also competed showjumping and took on the challenges of British Showjumping - their first season; they finished first in the region. As Grace has grown bigger and older, she knew she would need the next size pony so she saved up all the money she earned herself (she works as a support artist on EastEnders and has done some modelling jobs) and purchased herself a bigger pony. She has had to adapt to his ways as he is a young baby, learning the ropes. Again, started successfully racing and jumping. Through her hard work and dedication, her name was thrown around and she was asked earlier this year to ride Merkisayre Sea Duble (a famous racing Shetland as we were told). She has dedicated a lot of time to training with him and placed first in their first jump race in both the heats and the finals. This half term she has travelled to Heathfields (near Devon), Great Yarmouth, Suffolk, and so on. Grace’s continued dedication to everything she does is highly commendable; she knows ‘hard work beats talent when talent doesn’t work hard enough’ and she lives by this. She has had many knocks (hospital visits are a many) whether it be injury or otherwise. Quite often she finds money moves things and coming from a single parent family, she knows she has to work harder to make it happen. She is a naturally talented rider and a hard worker. Grace was invited to Ascot in December 2023 as she finished last season 2nd in the country and was presented with a lovely trophy.