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Local Forres girl set for National Horse Riding Championships

By Ewan Malcolm

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A GIRL who lives in Brodie near Forres has qualified for the National Horse Riding Championships after excelling in a regional competition recently.

Kyla with Wizard her pony.
Kyla with Wizard her pony.

Kyla Mantilla-Ross (16) posted an impressive score of 67.9 per cent in the Riding for the Disabled Regional Championships at Cranloch, Elgin on May 20.

The result sees the Elgin High School pupil qualify for the National Championships set to be held in Gloucestershire from July 12 until July 14 next month.

The flagship event brings together hundreds of competitors every year to compete in events including carriage driving, countryside challenges, dressage, show-jumping, vaulting and showing.

Kyla will represent the Forres, Nairn and District Riding for the Disabled Association (RDA) at the event which will mark the 50th anniversary of the association.

Sonia Howell, Chair of the Forres, Nairn and District RDA, said: "We are absolutely delighted that Kyla has done so well, and we are very proud.

"Kyla attended our weekly term-time riding sessions some five or six years ago, and subsequently got her own pony.

"Under the Independent Rider agreement, we are even more delighted that Kyla has chosen to represent our group in RDA affiliated competitions."

Barabra Manson, Grampian and Highland Regional Chair, presents Kyla with a prize.
Barabra Manson, Grampian and Highland Regional Chair, presents Kyla with a prize.

Sonia says that Kyla's progression in horse riding is testament to the effectiveness of the sessions which have greatly benefited not just Kyla but other young people as well.

"Kyla is a shining example of how much can be achieved through these riding sessions," Sonia said.

"It is not just about the intricacies of riding and the practicalities of caring for your own pony. All the feedback we receive from parents, carers and teachers shows that the children become more confident, improve their communication and ability to build relationships, as well as physical improvement – and of course, have fun."

Lorna Mantilla-Ross, Kyla's mum, added: "Kyla's love of riding and ponies was solidified by the excellent instruction received at the riding sessions run by the Forres, Nairn & District RDA group.

"Additionally, her confidence, balance and co-ordination improved immensely. With her pony Wizard, she has gone from strength to strength, and is a far more competent rider than we would ever have imagined back when she was only nine.

"It is only fitting that she is representing the Forres, Nairn and District RDA group not just at the regional qualifiers in Scotland, but now at the National Championships in England later this year."

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