Whilst most five year-olds will spend their summer break in holiday clubs, playing with friends or on the beach, James Airlie from Dame Allan’s School will also be competing at the Royal International Horse Show at Hickstead.
The reception pupil qualified for the prestigious event with his pony Cosford Vanity Fair at a meeting of the British Show Pony Society in Preston in the spring.
Qualifying for the prestigious show is a huge achievement for any rider and for five year-old James, who has been riding for just over three years, it will be an opportunity to see how the professionals do it.
The Royal International Horse Show is one of the oldest horse shows in the world, having celebrated its centenary in 2007. It is also one of the biggest outdoor shows in the country, which sees the elite of many equestrian disciplines compete side by side.
James will be competing against at least 30 other competitors up to the age of nine years old, but the passionate equestrian is not fazed by the competition. James’ father, Mr Andrew Airlie said: “James loves riding and looking after his ponies. He enjoys getting red rosettes after competitions, though the bag of sweets he won when he qualified for Hickstead seemed to impress him more!”
Mr Andrew Edge, Head of Dame Allan’s Junior School, said: “Qualifying for the show is such a brilliant achievement for James. We are really proud of him and we are looking forward to hearing all about what Hickstead is like from a competitor’s point of view.”