Farlington School’s endurance rider, Katie Bedwin, came second last weekend at the Welsh Championships over a distance of 120km, even though she was the only Junior competing.
Katie has been recognised for her sporting achievements recently when she won an award at the Set4Success Awards Ceremony on Friday September 26 at South Lodge Hotel in Horsham.
Katie, 16, received the award from Commonwealth hockey silver medallist, Lucy Wood, for her achievements in horse riding. She found it inspirational to hear from high profile sports people at the event.
Set4Success aims to support young talented sportspeople from the Horsham District to achieve their potential by awarding funding; Katie plans to spend hers on training, competition entry, travel and stabling costs.
Katie started endurance riding at the age of 8, following in her mother’s and grandmother’s footsteps, and has worked her way up the endurance levels as a rider and has taken four horses to the top of the sport. Her riding career is going from strength to strength: in 2010 she was ranked 3rd Under-15 in the country, moving to first in 2011; in 2013 she was selected for the Under-21 Great Britain Endurance Squad and won her first international 80km competition.
In August 2014, Katie rode for the England team in the Home International Endurance Ride in the Scottish Borders: a two-day event over 160km. She came second in spite of being the only Junior rider. She said: “It was an amazing event. I spent a week there and the countryside was spectacular. I was very nervous on the second day, but it went much better than I expected. I was delighted to come second.”
As part of the Under-21 Great Britain team, she is hoping to represent her country at the European and World Equestrian Games. However, she is first setting her sights on becoming the Number 1 U21’s Endurance Rider in the UK. She also helps Junior riders get involved with the sport and supports them as a member of the Endurance Young Riders Committee.
Sara Whittaker, Director of P.E. and Sport, said: “We are very proud of Katie’s achievements. She is very passionate about her sport and throws herself into everything she does. She is a great all-rounder and a credit to Farlington.”
Report and picture contributed by Farlington School.