THE 2014 Bronze League champion Julia Helm secured top spot in the Northern Horseware Bronze League semi-final at Bishop Burton College on Saturday and, in doing so, gave herself the chance to compete for the championship title once again at October’s Horse of the Year Show.
A strong field of 51 determined combinations were all vying for one of the seven qualifications places up for grabs for the Horseware Bronze League Final.
The first two rounds over Neil Foster’s challenging East Riding course saw competitor numbers fall along with the fences until just 22 were left to fight it out in the final jump-off.
After taking the title in 2014, Shrewley’s Helm is back with a vengeance and she rode straight into top spot in Yorkshire with a lightning fast treble clear.
Drawn close to the end of the final jump-off, she watched the poles fall for many other combinations.
Riding her own Helms Tolu, the 17-year-old bay mare she rode to victory in 2014, the pair crossed the finish line on her treble clear score in 36.73 seconds.
Jumping into second place was Katie Shaw from Staffordshire on board Janette Davidson’s seven-year-old bay mare Cyloma Z.
With the competition proving fierce for a championship place, time was of the utmost importance and this pair proved their prowess by coming in just a fraction of a second behind Helm in 37.23 seconds, also on a treble clear.
Third place went to Angela Mills from Haswell, County Durham, riding her own 12-year-old bay gelding Quids In II. This pair held their nerve to post a treble clear in a time of 37.31 seconds.
The Horse of the Year Show 2016 will take place between October 5-9 at Birmingham’s NEC.