Young eventer Heidi Coy’s knack of developing young horses has landed her a call-up to the Great Britain junior squad.
On Tuesday, the 17-year-old and her latest star mount Royal Fury were named on the long list for next month’s European Junior Eventing Championships in Ireland.
The nine combinations selected by British Eventing for the trip to Millsteet (July 19 to 23) will be whittled down to six at a final trial at Farley Hall, in Berkshire, later this month.
She said: “I’m so proud of my seven-year-old for being long-listed for the junior Europeans.
“He’s such a special horse and I can’t thank everyone enough for getting me here, especially my mum for her hard work.”
Having started the season competing in novice classes, the pair went on to secure their place on the long list with an impressive string of results, culminating in a win at Weston Park in one of two selection trials.
But also needing a spring three-day event under their belts, Royal Fury then had to withdraw from a competition in Ireland with a bruised foot.
The seven-year-old gelding recovered brilliantly to finish sixth at the National U18s Championships at Brand Hall last weekend with a double clear to cement their place in the provisional national squad.
Royal Fury, otherwise known as Rory, was brought to the family farm in Harby just two years ago with no eventing experience, but after training with Heidi, he is already seen as a potential future star at senior level.
If they make it through to the European Championships, Heidi will have the benefit of previous experience at Millstreet.
The A-level student rode at the venue two years ago with the national under 18s development squad on Forest Foxy Lady (Fudge), another horse which she had brought through.
Fudge was sold on, but mum Helen insists they have long-term plans for Rory.
“This one is a keeper,” she said. “He has plenty of potential and is a proper jumper.
“Good horses can often be quirky, but he is really easy; he loves the job and is always smiling.”
The pair also made their two-star debuts together this season at Rockingham, in Northamptonshire, going clear in cross country and putting just one pole down in the show jumping despite wet ground.
Heidi, who trains at Old Dalby-based Vale View with renowned coaches Caroline Moore and Ian Woodhead, enjoyed great success on ponies before graduating up to eventing.
And Helen believes the pair can make it into to the final squad if they can avoid injury and misfortune.
“We are quietly confident, but anything can happen with horses and riders,” she added.
“If we avoid injuries and keep consistent, the horse is more than capable; he is a superstar.”