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Showjumper’s new year best

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By Rod Edgar
Dumfries and West
Showjumper's new year best

A SHOWJUMPER from the region reached new heights at a prestigious international show — taking part in a fan-favourite event.

James Smith from Kirkcudbright finished a joint third in the Puissance event at the Liverpool International Horse Show on New Year’s Day, after clearing a new personal record height of 2.08 metres.
Explaining the high jump competition, James, 23, said: “Puissance is a special event which is all about how high you jump.
“They build a red wall, and they keep making it bigger.”
The wall started off at 1.80 metre, but kept increasing as James and his ten-year-old horse Tyson Uno progressed through the rounds.
James said: “They started off with 12 people in the class. Ten went through the first round, and they put it up.
“I went to the fourth round and knocked it down in the fourth round.”
James and Tyson Uno successfully cleared 2.08 metres but went out at 2.14 metres.
But just having the chance to take part in only his second four-star competition was a reward for James — as only the 12 best riders in Britain are invited to take part.
And looking back on the Puissance, James, from well-known fencing contractors James Smith Fencing, said: “That’s the first competition like that I’ve done on him. He’s my best horse, and he usually jumps the Grand Prixs, but we just did that for something different.
“That’s the first time he’s jumped it, so it’s good.”
He added: “At home I only really trained up to 1.75 metre, but I didn’t actually have a wall so I built one out of shavings bales.”
Although Tyson Uno is ten years old, James Smith says prime jumping age is from ten to 13, and perhaps even older.
Looking to the future, James said: “With a bit of luck he could jump it bigger, as he found it quite easy.”

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