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Frodo could be lord of the ring for Ayla.

Byline: Anna Harris

UP?AND?COMING young eventer Ayla A Forster Blenkinsop, from Sacriston, is aiming to impress at this year's British Pony Trials, even though she only took up the sport just over a year ago.

e 14-year-old Fyndoune Community College pupil has gone from competing in BE80 events to BE100 events in just over 12 months and has gained the required criteria to be part of e British Eventing 2015 Charles Owen FEI Pony Training Programme.

is is both a competition and training programme designed to produce a team that will represent Great Britain at the European Championships as well as coach and develop riders for pony teams in the future.

It is a fairytale nale to a story that started in October 2012 when Ayla and her mum Joanne A Forster, from Cote Hill Riding Centre, bought a newly backed, very green Connemara cross oroughbred pony called Frodo Baggins.

Although things didn't turn out to plan at the start, Ayla's determination, dedication and A talent has revealed a potential superstar in Frodo Baggins, whom Ayla describes as: "e describes as: "e A best thing that has ever happened to me."

" Originally, Joanne had hoped to help her then 12-year-old daughter bring on the pony, as he was very sharp. But two days after he arrived at the stables Joanne sered a prolapsed disc, which meant she couldn't ride for 12 months, and Ayla had to produce the pony A herself.

"at was the beginning of Ayla's fairytale," A explained Joanne.

"She just had to get on with it, and one month later he boldly jumped around the British Riding Club's Novice Showjumping quali-er and we began to think we may have found something a little bit special.

53:34 Date: Oct 03, 2012 14:Plate:Composite; 63.80x20.00mm); "A " Ayla says Frodo is very trainable and he is"A" Ayla says Frodo is very trainable and he is very bold. She asks him to do something and he tries his best as he trusts her."

2x2.pdf;Page: 1;Format:(GEN_NOTICETo_ e following Spring, the pair competed in their rst hunter trial - and won it - before Document: going on to represent Sunniside Riding Club at the Junior 90 Eventers Challenge Championship at e Festival of the Horse at Aston-le-Walls.

Joanne said: "As they set o around the BE90 course on her 13th birthday, I couldn't watch. But there began the day Ayla was bitten by the A eventing bug.

"Upon their return they started competing in BE80s, where they were consistently placed, and subsequently qualied for the BRC BE80 championship at Brooksby College in Leicestershire.

"ey were also part of the Sunniside Riding Club junior team who came fourth at the BRC National Championships 2013."

e following year, Ayla and Frodo Baggins A stepped up to BE90s and they were placed in the top 10 in three of their four runs. ey also won the BRC Area 2 junior 90 Horse Trials qualier, which resulted in a trip to the BRC Horse Trials Championships in Oxfordshire, where they came fourth in their section and 13th overall.

By the end of August, the pair had moved up to BE100 competitions.

Ayla started riding before she could walk, A due to her mother's involvement in the equestrian industry, and has grown up with horses. At rst she competed in Endurance events, taking part in 32km rides at the age of nine.

en she got a young traditional coloured cob called Billy Boy Ben, which she produced herself and went on to qualify and compete at the Junior Dressage Championships at the Royal Windsor Horse Show in 2013 and the BRC Junior Winter Dressage Championships last year.

Ayla ts in riding with her school committs in riding with her school commitA -ments by being very disciplined.

"She is passionate about training and enjoys her lessons with her trainers as much as she enjoys competing," said Joanne.

"We plan things carefully and during busy exam times I help her out and exercise her pony for her to keep him t and to give her time to study."


Ayla Forster Blenkinsop and <Bher pony Frodo Baggins
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Publication:The Journal (Newcastle, England)
Date:Feb 28, 2015
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