Jes­sica’s de­lighted with her prize pony Na­tional ti­tle sur­prise for Dun­ning girl

Perthshire Advertiser - - HOUSE HOME - Rachel Clark

A Dun­ning girl is cel­e­brat­ing af­ter win­ning the Scot­tish Event­ing Cham­pi­onships ear­lier this month.

Jes­sica Za­jda and her pony Tally (Nan­teglwys Taliesin) came out on top at the BE90 Event­ing Cham­pi­onships in Hen­der­syde Park, Kelso.

The suc­cess was all the more im­pres­sive be­cause she com­peted on her pony, rather than her larger pro­fes­sional horse, and en­tered the com­pe­ti­tion as an un­der­dog.

Jes­sica (19), who is cur­rently study­ing law at the Univer­sity of Glas­gow, ex­plained: “There were dif­fer­ent lev­els and I had to qual­ify back in 2016.

“I qual­i­fied a bit by ac­ci­dent be­cause my event­ing pro­fes­sional horse was not quite right on the day so I took my lit­tle pony Tally and he did re­ally well.

“We came sec­ond and it was the top five who qual­i­fied for the cham­pi­onships. When we re­alised he had qual­i­fied, we thought we would give it a shot.

“Up un­til we ac­tu­ally went, we thought we might not bother be­cause we would have to work on Tally’s fit­ness and re­hearse and prac­tise. It’s dif­fi­cult to try and run two horses at that level when it is only a hobby.

“But I am glad we did it, he was fit enough and he did so well and he re­ally en­joyed the out­ing.”

Jes­sica said she knew go­ing through the cham­pi­onships that she could not make any mis­takes.

She said: “We got up at 4.30am and in the dres­sage I for­got the test Jes­sica Za­jda and Tally pro­duced a stun­ning per­for­mance. Pic­ture by Grossick Pho­tog­ra­phy – if you get it wrong you get mi­nus two points. At that point I thought I had wasted my chance but then I found out I was in the lead even with the mi­nus two.

“I en­joyed the cross-coun­try so much I had a huge smile on my face the whole way through.

“In the showjump­ing they built up the ten­sion and I felt so sick go­ing into that be­cause there was less than a pole be­tween me and sec­ond place so I couldn’t make any mis­takes.

“I am so thrilled be­cause Tally doesn’t look like your typ­i­cal event­ing pony so he was re­ally the un­der­dog and he built up a lit­tle fan club on the day. He re­ally rose to the chal­lenge on the course and I am very glad we both­ered to go in the end.”

Tally and Jes­sica were also in ac­tion over the week­end at the Blair Horse Tri­als at Blair Cas­tle, where he com­peted in the work­ing hunter cham­pi­onships.

I am so thrilled be­cause Tally doesn’t look like your typ­i­cal event­ing pony

Leap of faith

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