Barton brothers excel for school at county competition
Jake, aged 12, and Josh Barton, 16, competed in the event at Bury Farm Equestrian Centre and jumped faultless clear rounds to win the 90cm and 1m classes, respectively.
Jake, riding Knickerbocker Glory, beat off 78 competitors from Herts, Bucks, Beds and Northants to become both Herts county champion and overall winner.
Josh, riding Contra B, saw off 50 other riders from the same four counties to land both the Herts county title and overall prize.
The brothers – along with fellow Bucks rider Talia Clark, from Gerrards Cross – also helped their Berkhamstead School team become county champions.
Their success came as no surprise to their mum Nicki, who was a competitive dressage rider.
“They have been riding horses almost before they could walk, and riding competitively since the age of about five or six,” said Mrs Barton.
“Both Jake and Josh have won county titles before, but never at the same time, so it made for a much happier house this time! Our middle son, Ben [aged 14] also rides, and they enjoy doing it together, but for him it’s more for enjoyment, whereas Jake is aiming to showjump professionally.”
For Josh, however, there will soon be a tough choice to make as he decides which of the two sports he excels in to specialise in.
As well as being a talented showjumper, he is an outstanding rugby player who captains the under16s side at Premiership champions Saracens.
Mrs Barton added: “The rugby comes from my father, David Stevens, who was a rugby player from the amateur era. He was an Oxford Blue who played for the Barbarians as well as Blackheath and England trials.
“Josh has to fit in his rugby around his show jumping, but he will have to make a decision one day as to which one he pursues.
“His rugby is really taking off but he loves his riding too.
“I’m strongly in favour of not specialising too early.” Henley, and had