This future superstar pony performed an impressive test to score 72.22%, fending off competition from his larger rivals, whilst Charlotte watched on from the ringside. Jayne, from Gawcott in Buckinghamshire and the diminutive power house, Cruz III claimed the competition by over two percent, much to her delight. Jayne beamed: “This is a dream come true for me, I really cannot believe it!”
Cruz has a 100% hit rate at these championships having won the Novice Open last year when ridden by Phoebe Peters.
Jayne was offered ‘Tom’ as a project by his owner and Jayne’s long-time friend, Charlotte and has carefully produced him ever since. “I got a phone call out of the blue from Charlotte saying ‘I’ve got a challenge for you’ and would I be interested,” explained Jayne. “And he’s been an amazing project – he’s brilliant! He’s hot, wants to do the job, is confident and brave, and is very bright – you can almost see his brain working! like he took a neuroenhancement pill?”
Tom, a flashy chestnut by former British team pony, Caesar 171, is stabled on Jo Jenkin’s yard just outside Buckingham. Jo plays an invaluable part in Jayne’s support team, along with Charlotte and Ian Cast. Jayne’s friendship with the pair began when they worked for Judy Harvey – ‘before they were famous!’ They are still very much a strong team. “Ian helps me a lot and is always on the end of the phone, and I train with Charlotte whenever I can,” Jayne said.
Like all good riders, Jayne is her own biggest critic and was quick to pick up on areas for further improvement: “I do get nervous and I do have high expectations of myself, but I’m learning to use that in a positive way,” she said.
In second place was Lewis Carrier and Diego V who put in a competitive performance to receive just a whisker below the 70% barrier, with 69.92%.