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South Essex Insurance Brokers/PSOA Trailblazers

Faruk's Championship Win Proves He's Alive and Well!

More than 1,400 riders fight for national titles

For Tallulah Hall, the 2003 Trailblazers championships will long be a day to remember. The day her horse came back from the dead!

Last year her 12-years-old Arabian, Faruk, developed strangles, but after a six month battle, veterinary surgeons were admitting defeat and suggesting the horse be put down. As a desperate last measure, three hairs were taken from Faruk, sent off to the operators of a radionics and crystal "black box" and five weeks later the strangles was beaten.

Tallulah, 17, from Gillingham, Dorset, spent another six months getting him fit again, and then celebrated at the Trailblazers final by winning the dressage senior Elementary championship.

More than 1,900 riders had qualified for the South Essex Insurance Brokers Trailblazers final, which is organised and run by the Permanent Show Organisers Association at 43 of its member centres around the country. About 1,400 eventually made the journey to the National Agricultural Centre, Stoneleigh.

"This has been our third year of competition," said PSOA chairman Norman Bargh, "and undoubtedly the best so far. The response has been so enormous over the year and we are so sure that the series will become even more popular that we are extending the 2004 championship meeting to four days."

The competition is designed to appeal to the estimated 200,000 riders who choose not to affiliate for dressage or showjumping - like Jenny Reeve, from Aston,, Sheffield, who was at her first Trailblazers and "big competition" with her horse Oscar and rode him into first place in Preliminary dressage.

"It is also a good series for juniors to cut their teeth on competition," says Mr Bargh. And that is exactly what 13-years-old James Payne from Horndon on the Hill, Essex, did. James, who says he WILL be a professional showjumper and he WILL one day beat the puissance record, rode his 14-years-old New Forest mare, Montanna Mindy, into the 85cms showjumping title.

The 105cms junior showjumping title went to the smallest pony in the class, the 13.2hh Mini Madam, owned by 13-years-old Hayley Windsor from Bexleyheath, Kent.

"It has been a real national competition, with people travelling from far and wide to be here for the three days," Mr Bargh comments. And that was proved by Suzanne Corlett, who travelled her horse, Conrhenny Treat, for four hours by sea and seven in a horsebox from the Isle of Man to become the senior 85cms showjumping champion.

And the senior novice dressage champion, Shelly Harriss, travelled from Brecon, Powys, with her 18.2hh Thoroughbred/Shire cross, Cosmic King, for her first Trailblazers final.



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