BUDDING equestrian star Poppy Stowell, aged ten, from Newport, has qualified for the British Dressage Under 25s Championships, less than a year after starting to compete.

Poppy qualified the championships, to be held next month in Lincolnshire, as a fledgling rider, which is the section for the youngest competitors.

Trained by Alison Davies, at Ponderosa Equestrian Centre, in Newport, Poppy and her pony, Splashes, have had a fantastic year so far, competing at venues across South Wales and the West.

Having only decided to compete at affiliated competitions in May, Poppy needed two test scores of 64 per cent and above to qualify for the championships. Having attained a 67 per cent score at Hunters Equestrian in May, she achieved her second qualifying score at the same venue with 65.7 per cent for Prelim 14.

She will now spend the summer holidays training with Alison prior to the Championships.

To achieve test scores, riders are assessed for about four minutes on a series of movements and on technical ability. The tests become progressively harder as you go through the levels.

Poppy has had Splash for about a year and now can’t wait to take part in this national competition.

She rides five or six times a week and is very dedicated to her sport.

Trainer Alison said: “Poppy is a hard working and focused pupil who has worked hard to achieve her success.

“She has a super relationship with her pony and I’m sure there will be many more successes to come.”