29 March 1996

How young

handlers show their mettle

COMPETITORS in the young handlers competition have to do far more than walk, trot and back their horses for the judge.

Young handlers – who must be more than 13 years of age and not exceeding 18 on the day of the show – have to prove that they can prepare them for showing too. Before appearing in the ring they spent a couple of hours washing, grooming and plaiting closely observed by the judge, Mrs Diana James from Tavistock, Devon.

The winner was Sophianne Flint (14) from Hainton, Lincs, with Matthew Burks (15), also from Lincs, runner up. Mrs James commended all the competitors for the standard achieved and pointed out that Steven Leverett who had exhibited the shows champion stallion, was himself a former winner of the young handler competition.