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An eight-year-old rider is gearing up for her London International Horse Show debut with her 18-year-old mare Overley Gamebird, after the Cornavirus pandemic prevented them for competing at the prestigious show two years ago.

Millie Rackham-Cobb and the Welsh part-bred veteran, who is known as Mildred at home, qualified for the Senior Showing and Dressage Ltd (SSADL) finals on the lead rein at Rutland County. Millie’s mother, Heidi Rackham, will be leading the pair under the spotlight at London. The family produce their ponies from home in Suffolk.

“We’d only had Mildred for a few months when we qualified for London in 2020,” explains Heidi, who purchased the mare, a former Horse of the Year Show (HOYS) finalist, just over three years ago, shortly after Millie was diagnosed with epilepsy.

“After Millie’s diagnosis, I was on the hunt for a schoolmaster,” Heidi continues. “Mildred is just awesome; she knows when Millie isn’t feeling quite right, and will drop back for her. But she’ll also go up the gears when Millie asks.”

Heidi said that while Millie’s condition means she can suffer from seizures, usually at night time, and she can get tired during the day, her daughter has not let her epilepsy stop her from achieving in the show ring with her ponies.

“She lives and breathes ponies,” says Heidi of Millie, who has ridden Mildred to top placings at the Royal International (RIHS) and won the senior of the year title at the SSADL championships earlier this year. “She’s obsessed with horses and she works so hard. She is a true perfectionist, so much so that we let her get the ponies ready for a show herself.”

Notably, Millie is also the youngest jockey to be competing in the showing classes at London International this season.

“Millie is counting down the days to the final,” says Heidi.

 

Source: horseandhound.co.uk, Alex Robinson

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