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Newmarket's Spittle one of six new champions at Winter Pony Championships

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Newmarket’s Lucy Spittle has enjoyed a breakthrough 2018, culminating in the 12-year-old being one of six new champions crowned at the Winter Pony Championships in April, writes Hannah Dolman.

Lucy Spittle named 138cm Springboard champion at Winter Pony Championships (2412301)
Lucy Spittle named 138cm Springboard champion at Winter Pony Championships (2412301)

Spittle, who is based at the Barrow Hall Stables in Bury St Edmunds, rode to glory in the 138cm Springboard Final on her eight-year-old gelding Not a Problem at the championships, held at South View Equestrian Centre in Cheshire in mid-April.

Anna Spittle, owner of her daughter’s steed, said: “Lucy is very grounded with her achievements and knows every one has their day so will appreciate her recent achievements and never takes any triumphs for granted.

“As a parent, I am very proud of Lucy’s dedication and her skills to have done so well in the past year.”

She said Lucy’s novice pony had originally been called Alfie, when he was brought to the stables as an unbroken youngster, before being sold to a girl at the stables.

While she grew beyond him eventually, Lucy grew big enough and so Anna decided to buy him back – and discovered he had also grown in experience and had become a lovely ride for Lucy.

After initial success together he was affiliated to British Showjumping, to enable him to compete in events such as the Winter Pony Championships, and Anna said he has gone from strength to strength.

She said: “We headed off to our first affiliated show about nine months ago and Lucy and Alfie qualified for a final that first weekend – they’ve continued with these results to this day.”

Before the success at the Pony Championships, there was a fourth-placed finish at the Pony of the Year Show and a Pikeur Novice Pony victory.