Long Clawson showjumper Lucy Turner picked for national development programme
Show jumper Lucy Turner is bidding to further the family's reputation in the sport by forging her own international career.
Lucy is a relative late developer in the sport, making her competitive debut in her 20s having previously concentrated on supporting the career of her brother Giles.
But she has been handed a golden chance to step into the limelight as one of just eight riders nationally to be invited onto the Step Up to Gold programme.
The Long Clawson rider had to be persuaded to apply for the British Show Jumping Association initiative, but was then among 120 riders invited to attend one of four selection days around the country.
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There she and star mount Fantasy impressed selectors enough to make the select eight-strong shortlist.
“I did do well, but I’m never confident in myself,” Lucy said. “Everyone kept telling me I had done well, but I thought ‘me being me, I never get picked!’
“There were a lot who went for it, and we had to go through a lot of hoops to be picked so I’m very happy to be at this stage.”
The year-long programme is designed to help develop promising show jumpers up to international level through the support of top regional and national coaches and by testing them in the international arena.
Lucy will make her debut in overseas competition at Bonheiden, in Belgium, in just under a fortnight’s time, and will be funded to attend two more international shows with Fantasy in England later this year.
As well as the international competition, she is also looking to compete on the Grand Prix circuit this year.
“My brother was a top show jumper and I groomed for him for a long time, but now it’s time to do something for myself,” she added.
“I am hoping to get experience this year and then start to win at it.”
While looking to forge ahead with her competitive career in 2017 she is also planning to launch her own equestrian business and bring through a string of young horses through the levels.
But for now, eight-year-old Fantasy will carry her main hopes of elevation onto the next tier of show jumping.
Together they enjoyed some good results last season including a fourth place in the seven-year-old finals at the national championships.
They also finished sixth at the B and C Championship at the Scope Festival, while also qualifying for the national newcomer masters.
Lucy said: “Fantasy has a heart of gold. She had a year off as a five-year-old through a foot problem so was quite backward for her age, but she has caught up with everything; she is such a trier.”
Any businesses interested in sponsoring Lucy’s show jumping career, should call her on 07940 167036.