Bolton School Junior Boys

John Enjoys Equestrian Event

Year 5 pupil John Oxley-Harrison recently competed in the Clifton and Kearsley Equestrian Show at the end of September, and came away with several rosettes and a trophy for his efforts.

He started riding when he was just three years old, inspired by his mother’s love of horses and riding. Since then, he has gone from strength to strength, and last Christmas received the gift of his very own horse, Holly, who is a ten year old, 15.2 hand chestnut mare.

“This is first show he has entered with Holly, I am sure that next year there will be many more,” said his mother, Nicola. “His ambition is to represent England at the Olympics and take part in HOYS before he is sixteen years old.”

John entered several classes: Child Handler, which involves showing the horse on a lead rein; Novice Equitation and Nursery Equitation, which evaluate the performance of the rider; and Riding Club Horse/Pony, a jumping competition. In the Under 13s category, he obtained 1stin jumping, 3rd in dressage, and 6th place for showing, as well as receiving a special commendation for jumping and showing with Holly.

This is a particularly great achievement, as in the showing category he was up against much older competition, some of whom were sixteen years old!

“I wasn’t nervous, I just thought, ‘Right, come on, I can do this!’ I was excited and ecstatic, but then I got a little bit nervous when I was doing the Showing,” John said. Her was very proud of how Holly performed at the event: “Holly was one of the fastest horses there. She’s a purebred thoroughbred, and there was another horse that was a thoroughbred-bay cross who was a little bit faster, but that horse wasn’t as good a jumper.”

He is now looking forward to riding Holly again at the next competition.

John and Holly with some of their prizes from the show

John and Holly with some of their prizes from the show