High hopes for Olivia

OLIVIA Yates may be aged only 15 but she is already making a name in the equestrian world.

The Saddleworth School pupil has been starring in arena eventing where competitors tackle showjumping and cross-country fences in an arena.

Olivia and 15-year-old Zorona, a chesnut mare, recently competed at the Chatsworth international horse trials in Derbyshire.

And there is another major event on Sunday, June 9 when the pair are in action at the Bramham international horse in Yorkshire.

Olivia, who lives at Lower Lydgate Farm, said: “It was a big dream to compete at Chatsworth on Zorona and we were against some tough competition against international riders.

“It was the first time I had competed in arena eventing with Zorona who I have only owned six months and we finished in the top 30.”

Olivia, who used to be a member of Saddleworth and District Pony Club, is also looking forward to making her debut at Bramham, even though it is in the middle of exams.

She said: “I’m currently doing my GCSEs which is very tough while competing my horses.

“Bramham is one of the biggest events in the UK and I am excited to be going, even though it is in the middle of my GSCEs.”

Zorona, a Dutch warmblood, was previously owned by showjumper Liesl Clark who jumped her up to 100cms cross country and 1.15m showjumping.

Olivia, who has four horses, also competes up to newcomers in British Showjumping and says it is her ambition to represent England in the future.

Olivia is looking for sponsors as she admitted it is an expensive sport as she currently relies on prize money to help finance competing. Anybody interested can contact her through the Saddleworth Independent.

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