Katie hopes local wins can lead to stardom

Hawick rider Katie Stephen
Hawick rider Katie Stephen
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A Teri teenager hopes to jump further towards her dream of competing in one of the world’s biggest horse trial events by posting a positive showing at Floors Castle this weekend.

Katie Stephen will aim to ride ten-year-old Hurricane Basil, competing in his second event, to success at Kelso as she bids to continue making her name in the sport.

The 18-year-old has competed at local and county level but harbours ambitions of later in her riding career participating at Badminton Horse Trials, which draws up to 250,000 spectators. Tomorrow, however, she and her horse will settle for more modest achievements.

“I just want him to do a good dressage a good double clear inside the time,” she said. “It’s quite a jump up from competing in local events to events like this.”

Katie, who studies horse care at Borders College, has already shown impressive form at trials this season by riding Ziggi, owned by Anita Wilson from Chesters, to qualification for the Scotland ‘B’ squad in the dressage event.

“In the long term, I’d like to keep going with competing,” she said. “In British eventing, you need to be of a good standard to do it and at the moment I do it alongside my college course.

“I would love to try and aim for Badminton further in the future – that would take a good couple of years to get to that level. Just now, it’s about progressing.”

With Hurricane Basil, Katie rode to a ninth-place finish in her only other event this year, before a competition at Scone Palace was cancelled.

A trip to contest the event at Hutton-in-the-Forest in Cumbria will follow her showing at Floors.