Badminton Dream on target for young rider

A Young up-and-coming eventing star from Claverdon,Warwickshire is one step closer to competing at Badminton Horse Trials, often seen as the most important horse event in Britain.

Alex Haynes has won the BE90 title at the Shelford Manor Horse Trials in Nottinghamshire.

It is the first time the 18-year-old has won a British Eventing Equestrian event and means he will now compete in the regional finals this summer where he hopes to finish in the top 25 per cent and qualify for the Grassroots Championships at Badminton.

“I started riding when I was eight-years-old and got into eventing when I was 13,” explained Alex.

“I also joined the Pony Club and watched eventing competitions on TV, but I really started to get into it when I got my own horse. I started competing when I was 11 and did a couple of local shows.

“I have since had a couple of wins that were unaffiliated but this is my first win under British Eventing so it was quite a big competition for me.”

Alex received a ‘leg up’ last year after securing sponsorship from Warwickshire residential property firm ehB Residential.

He has since focused on rising through the ranks by gaining more experience competing with his horse Overley Moonraker.

“I bought Overley Moonraker when he was three-years-old and broke him in at four with the help of my trainer Colina Pickles.

“It is a great achievement to win at Shelford and it is very rewarding to see all my hard work paying off.

“I always go out with the aim to win but in this case I was also going out to give Overley Moonraker more experience.

“I then realised I had an ok dressage score as I was in fourth which is about right for overall competition placing.

“It has always been a dream of mine to compete at Badminton,” he added. “I do a lot of flat work to prepare for competitions as well as jumping once a week and then galloping to keep the horse’s fitness up.

“I enjoy all of the events but my favourite is probably cross-country as I like the adrenaline as you come out of the box.”

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