War Horse star Ben adds magnificent seven awards to round off memorable year

First published in Sport

A YOUNG Herefordshire show-jumper has rounded off the year with a clutch of seven national awards.

Ben Thomas-Cook appeared in the Steven Spielberg blockbuster War Horse as a stable lad but it is his own equestrian career which has now really taken off.

His horse Bolgednewydd Andee (Andee for short) has been named the Premiere Champion at the Welsh Part Bred Performance awards.

And there was success, too, in home the Pioneer Show Jumper award, beating the other sections for eventing (Gingindlovu ridden by Matt Ryan) and dressage (Cadifr Madie ridden by Sarah Parkes).

Andee’s breeder, Maggie Harris, attended the awards to pick up two awards won by Andee.

“She hadn’t seen the Andee since she sold him to Ben through Brightwells sale at Leominster in Nov 2011,” said Ben’s mother Sara Thomas.

“She was delighted to receive his awards and will be keeping in touch with Andee and Ben’s career now.”

Andee is jointly owned by Ben and Jackie Hancock from Hereford who received the awards for National Grade ‘C’ BSJA champion and the British Showjumping Overall Champion. “It has been the most successful horse I ever had the pleasure of owning, but Ben and his mum Sara have put in so much hard work that the awards were so well deserved,” she said.

Ben, who also won the young rider award out of all the sections, is currently being trained in Ireland by Paddy Quinland who will take Ben with him to international competitions.

Andee achieved 22 double clears in affiliated competitions this year with seven wins and £350 in BS winnings.

He was fourth at the Nation Showjumping Scope Festival and won from 92 starters at David Broome’s Event Centre.

Ben said “He has not stopped learning this year and every time we asked him to jump bigger he just did, I think he loves it,” said Ben. “It sounds like we done a lot with him but we haven’t,” said trainer Sara Thomas.

“He’s just been so consistent and a pleasure to work with.

“We have bigger competition next year for him and lots of second rounds but he’s having a rest until March. “He deserves it.”

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