Twins ride into major final

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SIBLING showjumpers from Woodford Halse have become what could be the first identical twins to compete together at a major sporting final.

Abbie and Kellie Taylor, aged 12, have both qualified to take part in the winter 138cm final at the Royal International Horse Show at Hickstead in September.

Kellie said: “I’m really happy about it. I’ve only ridden this pony in three shows, and those were the qualifiers.”

Abbie said: “It’s good to have qualified and I’m really happy. I qualified on my mum’s birthday, so it was a nice present for her.”

From an early age both sisters have been very competitive showjumpers, enjoying great success.

This year they moved up to the 138cm class of ponies.

Kellie has only ridden her new pony Tremenyn Flyaway at three shows starting in February, but managed to qualify for Hickstead on March 13. Abbie qualified her pony, Ashes Cool Dude, on February 12.

It is believed this could be the first time that identical twins have gone head-to-head in a major British show jumping final.

Unlike most children at this level of the sport, the girls’ family have produced and trained their ponies themselves, to keep costs down.

Adam Garland, who helps with the girls’ training, said: “There’s only about 100 in the country at this level, and only 25 places at Hickstead.

“Usually you’d expect someone to spend two years on ponies and only get to this level in the second year. But the twins have done it within three months – we’re all very proud of them.”

Both girls have now left school and are receiving home tutoring to allow them to better fit their education around their horse riding.

They are looking for sponsors or any companies interested in them promoting their products.

For more information go to www.ultimateequestrian.co.uk.