Holly honours her grandfather’s memory with Bramham success

HOLLY Woodhead provided the perfect tribute to her late grandfather by enjoying a fairytale debut at last weekend’s Bramham International Horse Trials.

The 21-year-old, who is based at Jo and Craig Horton’s Dayhouse Farm, near Coate Water, marked her first-ever appearance at Bramham, which was also the first CCI three-star competition of her career, with a scorching victory in the U25 section that carried more than a little emotional gravitas.

Grimsby-raised Holly followed up her fine 33-point dressage score with clear cross country and show jumping rounds to seal top spot with a yawning gap of 11.20 on DHI Lupison – an 11-year-old Gelding that was owned by her grandfather Alan, who died a matter of weeks ago.

“My late grandad died two weeks ago, so that made it even more emotional,” said the Swindon-based rider, who is has been a member of the British Equestrian Federation’s World Class Development Programme since December 2014.

“I’m over the moon. It was just unbelievable. I went into the dressage arena to try and get a score in the 40s, so to get 33 was out of this world. “He (DHI Lupison) rode so well in the cross country and showed how fit he was on a hilly course by finishing one second under the time.

“He then felt really good going in to the showjumping. I wasn’t thinking about what second-place or third-place was doing. I just blanked it all out. “To still finish on 33 is amazing. It still hasn’t really sunk in and  the thing with eventing is that afterwards on Sunday, I just had to think about what’s next. “But I’ll try and celebrate next weekend.”

Holly moved to Swindon in February after spending two-and-a-half years based at New Zealand legend Mark Todd’s Badgerstown complex in Foxhill.

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