Countryside Live: Yorkshire rider has the talent to impress Olympians

Tabby Bentley from Ripley, winner of the Search for a Talented Showjumper competition at Countryside Live held at the Great Yorkshire Showground in Harrogate. Picture: Tony Johnson

Tabby Bentley from Ripley, winner of the Search for a Talented Showjumper competition at Countryside Live held at the Great Yorkshire Showground in Harrogate. Picture: Tony Johnson

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IT IS a competition which attracts young equestrians from across England, Scotland and Wales, but a Yorkshire trio who were named top three in the Search for a Talented Showjumper.

This is Countryside’s Lives longest fought showpiece, starting on Saturday morning and concluding on Sunday afternoon, challenging riders to perform consistently well to impress the judges, former Olympian showjumpers Tina and Graham Fletcher.

After rounds of high speed jumps in the indoor arena, Tabby Bentley, 20 was named the winner riding 14-year-old Welsh D pony ‘Jordie’, followed by Ellie Sedgwick of Bridlington in second and Paige Wright of Harrogate in third.

Ms Bentley, of Ripley, will spend time training with the Fletchers at their yard in Oxfordshire as her prize.

The Harper Adams student said: “I’ve been riding since I was born pretty much. This is the fourth time I’ve ridden in this competition. I like riding here - it’s my home turf - and it’s always good to jump in front of Graham and Tina.”

During the contest the Fletchers offered riders advice on improving their technique, and Mr Fletcher felt Ms Bentley had shown, through her response during the competition, that she was a willing learner.

He said: “I thought she rode really well. She thought about what I said to her. What we try to do is find someone who has talent and someone who can improve and she had both of those qualities.”

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