Best of friends become best in Britain at HOYS

Amy James jumping to glory at HOYS.

Gemma Rees receives the silverware.

First published in Sport

Two Pembrokeshire girls who grew up training together have got their just rewards after a memorable display at the Horse of the Year Show in Birmingham.

Gemma Rees and Amy James have been best friends since childhood and former neighbours.

Earlier this month, both excelled at the NEC Arena, with Gemma winning the Non- Native Coloured Pony Class and then going onto be reserve champion.

Amy meanwhile, won her class for the third consecutive year and then won the Mountain and Moorland Working Hunter Pony Championships.

“We used to ride our ponies together every day so to be able to win, and watch each other win, was an amazing experience that neither of us will ever forget,” said Gemma.

“We are both local and it’s an incredible achievement for such a small area.”

Gemma, 27, lives in Clarbeston Road and rode in HOYS on Brynteg Llwynau Daffodil, a horse based in Llantrisant.

Amy, 28, is based at Mallards Reach Equestrian Centre in Camrose along with her horse, Farlies Red Flare.

She added: “It was a great day, probably the best of my life.

“It was the ultimate experience and one I think everyone who gets into horse riding dreams of.”

Two more Pembrokeshire girls, Lucy Parr and Grace Gibbon, whose place in the show was put in doubt due to a late injury to her horse, also competed well.

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