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The British Showjumping Awards Ball by William Eustace and Charlie Hylden-Thorne

by | Nov 6, 2023


Image: Rob Bayes Photography

It came as a real surprise that I had won the South Western League for the BS Club 90. Rafe had had a bit of time off so I never even looked at the end of season results! Before I knew it we were all in the car going to Exeter to get a suit for me to wear as we were kindly given tickets to attend the BS Annual Awards Ball where I was to be presented with a trophy for winning! I was so excited and couldn’t believe it! We only found out two weeks before the ball so getting a black tie outfit was top priority and making sure I could sit with Charlie who we knew had also won!

It was a long drive from Devon to Solihull but I’m so glad we went. As we entered the hotel there was such a feeling of excitement! Lots of top riders were there which made it feel extra special! Some I’d only ever seen on instagram or at the London Horse Show! We were given drinks and Charlie and I had time to look around and get out pictures taken with some of the cool stuff in the room like a big red London bus that was a show jump. The awards were given out by regions. I was so nervous! But I only had to go up once, Charlie had to go up 3 times! He did so well! It was really cool standing on stage and have everyone clap, I don’t think I will ever forget it, I really did feel so proud! We then had our pictures taken again and then went into the dining room.

Image : Simon Coates Photography

We were spoilt with a three course dinner and bar of chocolate which I’ve kept as a memento as it’s got BS on the front with a horse jumping. During the dinner more awards were given and some of the junior riders has clips of their riding shown on a big screen! It was insane how high they jump, and they are only 15 and 16! I’m only 12 but I definitely want to be like them in a couple of years time! They were so inspiring. After the awards it was time for the dancing. There was lots of fun music to get everyone dancing and Showjumper’s definitely love to dance! Before I knew it it was time for us to leave and head back home. I was so sad to leave. I definitely hope I get to go back to the Ball again one day!    William 



I competed in BS Club classes over the year and qualified for the national KBIS Club BS finals at Stoneleigh in August 23. In my club class finals I came 3rd in the 90cm and took the win in the 1m class with the sole clear. It was my biggest win and the first time I have ever won a rug.  Club classes are lots of fun and a great introduction to British Showjumping. My horse Major I have had for a year.  The first time I rode him I jumped 1 metre for the first time and the second time I tried him, I knew he was for me. He’s so easy, the other ponies around him can be excited and he will just stand there asleep.  He’s funny in his stable too, he throws his food across the stable and into his bed and saves it for later for midnight snacks!

Charlie’s images: Jasmine Punter Photography

The icing on the cake this year was also winning my East regional junior section on points for 80, 90 and 1m and then being invited to the prestigious BS Ball in October.  It was brilliant to get my trophies and meet up with my friend William who I had made friends with a year earlier at national finals! Charlie