Hundreds Compete At RAF Equestrian Championships

Hundreds of riders have been competing at the RAF's Equestrian Championships in Lincolnshire.

The competition included a qualifier for the forces final in December.

More than 500 riders were on show at Arena UK in Allington, Grantham.

They came from across the forces and from other services such as police, fire, and ambulance.

The RAF Championships are usually held at RAF Cranwell but there were more riders competing than usual, meaning Arena UK in Grantham was a better choice to host the event.

There was a rookie winner of the Jack Tarr Memorial Trophy, named after a big supporter of RAF Novice Riding, who died from COVID-19.

Senior Aircraftman Liam O'Hara took the trophy in a shock as he'd only the met the horse he competed on days before the event.

WATCH: Military riders back in Inter Services action after COVID break.

"I didn’t expect anything like this from my first championships," said SAC O'Hara.

"I haven’t been riding that long but it means an awful lot to win.

"I didn’t meet Jack Tarr but it means a lot to me to have a trophy presented to me in his name and in his memory as well."

The RAF event also provided a final qualifying round for the forces final after previous qualifiers at the Army, Navy and UKAF championships.

A new star in the Air Force is Senior Aircraftwoman Amy Pritchard who only joined the military in March.

Her bond with her horse, Fred, is one of her major strengths and gives her a major advantage over the competition.

She said: "I’ve had him for five years so our partnership is pretty strong.

"This is one good thing with the Olympia qualifier - it’s all on points.

"That’s really good because you can have good days and you can have bad days."

SAC Pritchard was top-placed finisher at the event and qualified for the forces final.

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