Xenia and Eliza looking forward to big day at Hickstead

Xenia Truman with Eliza Day
Xenia Truman with Eliza Day

AN UP-AND-COMING equestrian star from Tillington is looking forward to the Royal International Horse Show at Hickstead.

Xenia Truman, 13 from the village near Petworth, has qualified with her super pony Eliza Day for the national 138cm pony showjumping final at the famous venue in July.

My school motto is Ad Alta (Aim High) and that is exactly what I am doing.

Xenia Truman

They qualified to compete in the second round of the winter national qualifier over the autumn, securing their place with two double clears.

The second round of this winter series takes place at five showgrounds nationally over two days.

Truman and her pony spent a weekend at Arena UK in Grantham and on the first day took third place and a direct qualifying ticket to the final.

The competition was over three rounds with 55 competitors from all over the UK. The first round produced 13 clears who went forward to jump a shortened course. This produced just eight clears to jump off against the clock, and Truman was clear – with her time putting her in third place.

She said: “I am so pleased to have qualified for RIHS. We travel the country competing and it will be amazing to compete in such a big final in my home county. It was a huge track but Eliza Day was a superstar and I could not be happier with our result.’

The pupil of Seaford College in Duncton has a busy year ahead as she is hoping to get selected for the the GB modern pentathlon talent pool. She runs with Chichester Runners, swims with Alton Swimming Club and fences and shoots in the school holidays.

“A five-discipline sport keeps me busy but I fit it in around school. Some mornings I go out for a run before I get on the school bus and most weekday evenings I’m out swimming with the club.

“My goal is to compete for Great Britain but I do understand that I will have to spend many more hours on the track, in the pool, in the saddle, at the shooting range and in my fencing kit before this happens. My school motto is Ad Alta (Aim High) and that is exactly what I am doing.”