WITH two victories at Badminton already in the bag, Middlestown’s Alexandra Farrar-Fry has set her ambitious sights on the competition’s flagship CCI four-star.
Farrar-Fry, 24, secured her second win in four years at Badminton’s Grassroots Championships this month when Marium Haque’s six-year-old grey gelding Grey Finnsky, nicknamed Boots, beat off all-comers in the BE100 class.
Success came four years on from Diamond Trefoil’s joy in 2011’s BE90 class – and now Farrar-Fry is hoping the next four years will lead to her most significant progress yet in the eventing sphere.
Farrar-Fry is also competing Santiago S and Cruisings Slainte Mhath this term and is now aiming her 2015 Badminton hero at ascension to Novice level before a crack at the six-year-old championships at the end of the year.
The Yorkshire ace sees no reason why Grey Finnsky cannot continue his progress – and the Dewsbury rider insists she has every intention of dreaming of reaching the top.
Farrar-Fry told The Yorkshire Post: “I’m hoping that Boots will keep going on upwards.
“We have plans for Novice runs and then the six-year-old championships at the end of the year.
“If he carries on as he is doing in four years’ time I could be back at the main event.
“Now that is positive thinking,” she added.
Northallerton’s Nicola Wilson took centre stage from a Yorkshire perspective in this year’s CCI four-star, one of three White Rose county riders in action along with Huddersfield’s world no 5 Oliver Townend and Beverley’s Gary Parsonage.
And Farrar-Fry was thrilled with her own glory at the BE100 level.
“I’m absolutely over the moon and amazed with the result,” said Farrar-Fry.
“The result for me, though, is just the icing on the cake as my priority is always for confidence for both myself and my horses and Boots did exude confidence throughout all three of the sections.
“I would be on cloud nine just with our performance – never mind the win which is the cherry on top!”
However, despite now being a dual Badminton winner, Farrar-Fry admits she still has something to learn in the media stakes.
The Yorkshire ace laughed: “The press conference after the prize giving was very nerve racking as I’m not the most confident person in speaking to others – especially in a large group.
“Then I had to do a camera interview with Horse and Country TV.
“I asked the lady before we went live if people could see me as well as hear – how naive,” she said.
“But she was lovely and made me feel very at home.
“It’s not every day you get to do things like that so I just tried to enjoy it.”
This weekend sees the first instalment of the year’s Bishop Burton Horse Trials take place on Saturday and Sunday.
Classes run from BE90 level up to Open Intermediate.
Bishop Burton stage another two-day trials over the first weekend in October with classes up to Open Novice level.
This weekend’s national highlight comes at Rockingham Castle International in Nottingham where there is a CIC two-star class.