Banbridge equestrian Alex Finney put on a stunning display of show-jumping this year at the RDS Horse Show.
She qualified both her 128cms ponies for the Main Arena National Championship Final, where she secured fourth place.
Her first qualification was made on day one when she took sixth place with ‘Ballyknock Master Roan’ in the 128cm, followed by an exciting win in Thursday’s class on ‘Some Journey’.
Every year at the RDS, the biggest gasps from the crowd comes hands down from the spectators watching the 12 year olds and under push their little ponies to their limits, displaying some of the tightest turns imaginable at speeds you would not believe.
Alex put on the best display of this during her speed round on her little Dun pony ‘Some Journey’, with the very last fence leaving everyone gasping, wondering whether or not the pony could make the jump with such a tight, speedy turn. The risky move paid off as the jump stayed up and the time was unbeatable.
Next up for Alex is the National Championships at Mullingar in August, where she will no doubt be looking to hold onto her title of National 128 Champion, which she won last year at Millstreet.
The coming month will be a sad time for Alex as her two 128 prize winning ponies will be up for sale as the young Banbridge girl moves up the pony ranks to take on the 138cm classes next year.
Her mother Jane Finney said: “Some Journey has been a very consistent performer over the three and a half years that we have had him. We bought him from Aaron O’Learey in Cork, where he was for four years and he did very well for him.
“Alex’s first big win with the pony was when she won the National Spring Tour when she was nine.”
The young rider has had numerous successes throughout her time riding in the 128 classes both at home and abroad.
Her mother Jane remarked that one of the highlights was at the prestigious London International Horse of The Year Show as well as her very successful performance at Millstreet last year.
Alex would also like to take the opportunity to thank her big sisters Nina and Lucy Mulligan, for all their help and support over the years.
David Geohegan, owner of Equestrian World Maynooth was also quick to spot the talented Alex having offered her sponsorship.
That in itself is an achievement in the competitive sport.