Zelie Batchelor – Our Newest Belvoir Rug Ambassador

Hi, I’m Zelie, I am 19 years old and live with my mum, Lisette-Marie, and dad, Mark at our family home on the south coast of England in a town called Wimborne close to Bournemouth. I travel around the country in the lorry competing with my mum and trusty lorry dog, Biggles. I am really excited to become a new brand ambassador for the Belvoir Rug Company.

My mum home-produced for many years and had hunters, hacks, cobs and riding horses so I was put on a horse before I could walk. Qualifying for HOYS and Royal International from 1989, showing has been a big part of the family’s heritage and gave me strong foundations to pursue showing from a young age. I started off with competing locally on my chestnut shetland ‘Poppet’ and was also part of Poole Pony Club. I then progressed off the lead onto my superstar show pony of a lifetime ‘Tic Tac’ who took me from first ridden into open classes and working hunter ponies. I then competed throughout the rest of my childhood with a range of plaited ponies and intermediates and have only recently entered the native circuit. I first competed at the Royal International with my 128cm show pony in 2009 and then HOYS in 2012 with my 143cm show hunter pony, both being home produced.

Currently I am only competing my 9 year old Connemara Tyan First Night (Oliver) due to university commitments and with my mother running her own business, but have youngsters coming on. Last season Oliver and I won the Young Riders section at the Royal International Horse Show after Oliver stood on and pulled off a shoe 5 minutes before the class and having to have it put back on whilst the other competitors walked around the ring. We were also 5th in the Pretty Polly class at the Royal International. Riding through the Longines arch into the main arena at Hickstead was the best feeling. We then went on to be placed 6th at HOYS, being the highest placed gelding and youngest highest placed rider after qualifying by winning and going reserve champion at Monmouthshire Show. Oliver is such a character and very chilled out. He enjoys munching his grass whilst laying down in the sunshine.

This season Oliver and I have qualified for 3 sections at the Royal International Horse Show including the Open New Forest and Connemara class where he qualified for at the BSPS Winter Championships after winning and going champion, the Pretty Polly Heritage Mixed Breeds class where he also qualified after winning at the BSPS Winter Championships and then qualified at Surrey County Show for the PUK Intermediates Young Riders Mixed Breeds class.

Without the help of my mum, competing whilst doing a degree in London would be impossible, but sharing the riding between us both keeps the ponies fit and ready to compete. Mum also drives the lorry to shows, trains me and takes care of all the paperwork and entries for competitions.


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