AN island, an invitation to coffee and a pony gold medal. What do these things have in common? It’s not a standard quiz question, but the answer is that all have been instrumental in building the career of promising event rider Yasmin Ingham.
The 23-year-old holds the honour of having won the British championships at all four “under” levels – 16, 18, 21, and 25. Then this autumn she cut it with the grown-ups successfully when she blasted through a quality field to pilot Banzai Du Loir to victory in the eight- and nine-year-old championship at Burnham Market.
“If I could choose the qualities which combine to make an event horse, he’s the one with them all,” she says of Banzai Du Loir, a Selle Français bought last May from French amateur rider Axel Coutte, through Rachel Wakefield of Uptown Eventing.
“He’s super athletic, really fast, very scopey, brave – and he’s rideable. Sometimes you have horses who are hot and you have to be careful how much pressure you put on, but the more you ask, the more he gives.
“He was bought with Paris 2024 in mind; obviously there’s a long way to go, but it’s exciting to have that plan and dream in place.”
And what did it mean to Yasmin to nail that first big senior win? Her answer quickly turns to the horse’s owners, Sue Davies and her daughter Janette Chinn.
“They were super, super proud and that’s what I want – I want to give back to them by having good results because they’ve given me lovely horses to ride,” she says. “For them to enjoy themselves is one of my priorities.”
And with the mention of Sue and Janette, we’re back to the island, the coffee, and that pony gold medal. Perhaps we’d better start at the beginning…
YASMIN grew up on the Isle of Man, where her mother Lesley was a manager at a large equestrian centre, Kennaa.
“How can I explain the Isle of Man?” ponders Yasmin, pausing for barely a moment before her naturally bubbly personality takes over. “It’s an amazing place to grow up, so tiny, but so friendly. Mum would take me up to the yard in the pram, I’d pet her horse Remy and my first words were ‘on it’. I always wanted to be on the horse. Then Mum got me a little pony on loan, Evil Edna – the naughtiest pony.”
Living just down the road from Kennaa, Yasmin’s summer holidays were spent at the centre, where Lesley could keep half an eye on her between office or yard work.
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