‘You don’t get many young boys in showjumping’: brothers qualify for Hickstead
Two young brothers who hope to follow in their coach Guy Williams’ footsteps have secured tickets to the pony finals at the Royal International Horse Show.
Alex Leggot, nine, qualified on 128cm Bubbas Delight at the pony premier at Morris Equestrian on 28 January, and his 13-year-old brother Henry qualified 138cm Letterkeen Bettyn at Arena UK on 12 March.
Alex and Henry’s father John Leggot, who owns Blossom Stud in North Yorkshire, told H&H his sons started riding from a young age, but Henry took a break when he broke his arm aged five, and only started competing in showjumping two years ago.
“Alex has a very special relationship with Bubbas Delight. He’s had him two and a half years, and the pony wants to jump those big tracks for Alex, they have a beautiful relationship,” he said.
“Henry has had Letterkeen Bettyn since just before Christmas. He had a pony before that was a bit too forward for him, so we bought Betty because she was a bit quieter. They are both very laid-back, they amble on round and jump everything. They’re unbelievable together.”
Alex and Henry are trained by John, and top showjumper Guy Williams.
“They’re very fortunate to be trained by Guy. They aspire to his drive and determination, and since starting with him their competitiveness, morale and drive has dramatically increased,” said John.
“Guy’s advice to them is ‘You’re in it to win it’. Alex is seriously competitive, so we’ve got to curb him a little bit.”
John said the boys are very much a team.
“We strongly encourage them to be a team and not compete against each other. If one of them has a disaster then it’s about the other one doing well to hold up the team,” he said.
“They’re both really pleased for one another that they’ve both qualified for Hickstead. We’ll be aiming for the Horse of the Year Show qualifiers later in the year and both boys aspire to be on the England pony team, but it’s a big ask.”
John added that he is very proud to see both his sons qualify for Hickstead.
“It feels really special because you don’t get many boys on the showjumping circuit at a young age. To have two boys from the same family qualify, I think they’ve done amazingly well,” he said.
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