A YOUNG riding pupil and her teacher have secured a date at one of the most prestigious events on the equestrian calendar.

Just days before her tenth birthday, Georgie Osmond and her coach, Katie Heginbotham, both qualified for the Royal International Horse Show, at Hickstead this July.

Georgie and Katie’s families share a long-standing friendship and love of riding. Georgie keeps her ponies next door to Katie’s yard at Barrows Green, near Kendal, at the farm run by her grandparents, Ian and Marlene Little.


Georgie’s mum, Sarah, said: “Katie is a well-known rider in the area and has brought my daughter on from a tiny five-year-old on the lead rein. Four years later, Georgie will be accompanying her to Hickstead. Katie found Georgie’s beautiful palomino pony only nine months ago as an unbroken four-year-old fresh from the Welsh hills.”

Teacher and pupil won a total of eight trophies at the British Show Pony Society Lancashire Championship Show on May 23, with both qualifying for the Royal International Horse Show next month. Georgie’s mum said the family were “absolutely jumping for joy” and that Katie had been “a real inspiration” to her daughter.

“It’s very exciting,” said Katie, a successful showing rider. “I’m 23 and Georgie’s only just turned ten, but we are good friends now. She works hard, she loves her lessons, and she texts me on her mum’s phone to see how her ponies are, because I work them during the week for her. She’s very, very keen and hard-working.”

Georgie, who lives in Priest Hutton, and attends Arkholme Church of England Primary School, is the third generation of her family to go to Oxenholme Pony Club, following on from her mum, Sarah, and grandmother, Marlene.

Also cheering Georgie on at the Royal International Horse Show, one of the biggest outdoor shows in the country, will be her dad, Simon, sister Liddy, 12, and brother Patrick, seven. Katie said there was lots of work ahead now keeping their ponies “in top condition and well-oiled” before the show, which starts on July 29.