2022 has been a phenomenal year for Fourth Year pupil and showjumper, Harriet Hodge, who during the season has successfully won a number of competition titles and accolades, culminating in her qualification to compete in the Horse of the Year Show.
To compete at this level requires determination and commitment whilst also paying sufficient care and attention to academic studies. Harriet spent many weekends travelling all over the country, to gain the qualifications she needed to reach her final goal.
During this qualifying period, Harriet clocked up several notable achievements but none more so than her selection to represent Great Britain at the Nations Cup Finals in Kronenberg, Netherlands, where Harriet contributed to Team GB winning Gold. This was both Harriet’s first time competing internationally and representing Great Britain. Despite the incredible pressure competing at this level brings, Harriet incurred no faults all week and to add to the team Gold, Harriet finished 5th place in the individual Pony Grand Prix. She was the highest placed GB rider and only just behind the reigning Gold and Silver European medalists from Ireland.
In October, Harriet’s dream came true as she entered the arena at Birmingham NEC with her pony Charlie, to compete in the Horse of the Year Show. For her first time at a prestigious show and in such an electric atmosphere, Harriet performed amazingly well. The first day did not go as planned, with some uncharacteristic mistakes, but she came back with a bang the following day in the Pony Foxhunter Championship. In the all-important jump off, Harriet recorded the fastest time by 1.5 seconds. Unfortunately, the last fence fell, but the round was still good enough to claim 4th place – an amazing achievement on her Horse of the Year debut!
Reflecting on her experience, Harriet said: “At the start of the year my goal was to qualify for the Royal International Horse Show and also the Horse of the Year Show. What I have achieved this year has surpassed my expectations. To be selected to represent GB and win a Gold medal is incredibly special and a dream come true.”
Harriet has many aspirations for next year, saying “Looking ahead, 2023 is my last year on ponies. I still have goals I want to achieve. These include winning a major national championship, getting selected again to represent GB for future Nations Cups and ultimately gaining selection for the GB team at the European Championships in France – and hopefully win a medal.”
Mr Hodge, Harriet’s Dad concluded: “We are incredibly proud of what Harriet has achieved. Her commitment and dedication to both her academic work and showjumping is unwavering. She deserves her success and 2023 promises to be an exciting year.”
News hot off the press is that Harriet has qualified for the London International Horse Show at the ExCeL London on 18 December, one of only 12 riders in the UK. Another great achievement – good luck Harriet!
Please click the image below to view Harriet competing at the Horse of the Year Show.
Photographic images courtesy of Sportfot