Charlotte to appear at HOYS for fifth time
By Martin Paul - Senior Reporter
A DALE rider has earned a spot in the country’s most prestigious equestrian event after winning two of the North East’s top titles.
Although classed as junior, Charlotte Merrigan Martin, from Stainton, competed against a number of senior riders when qualified for the Horse of The Year Show (HOYS) during the North of England Summer Pony Show, at Arena UK, in Lincolnshire this month.
It has been a successful year for the 19-year-old who, while competing in showing events on her horse Volatis Diva, took the amateur home produced national champion titles for both the Coloured Horse and Pony Society (CHAPS) and the British Piebald and Skewbald Association (BPSA).
She said: “I am overwhelmed really. I think it
hasn't sunk in yet. I hadn’t realised how big an achievement it is really.”
HOYS has no “amateur home produced classes” so the youngster will be competing directly against some of the country’s top professional riders.
The Barnard Castle School pupil had a busy time in the lead up to the North of England Show having to attend the school leavers’ ball and perform head girl duties the same weekend.
He mum, Clare, said: “We had three and a half hours sleep before setting off.”
Fortunately a family friend was on hand to bathe and prepare Volatis Diva for the event. Showing is different from dressage in that not only does the rider display their horse’s movements, but the judges also ride the horse.
Charlotte said her horse often plays up to the “diva” in her name. She said: “She enjoys working and she likes to learn, but she will fight against it.”
It will be the fifth time that the rider appears at HOYS when it gets underway at the The National Exhibition Centre, in Birmingham, on October 2.