At the tender age of 13, Lola Bass of Grenaby is no stranger to a show ring.

She made her UK showing debut astride Annadale Minstrel back in 2016 and has been hooked ever since.

Lola already has enough accolades to fill several trophy cabinets, including Show Hunter Pony top honours back in 2017 at the Royal International Horse Show, qualifying for the event every year since she started back in 2016.

Not surprisingly, she has now gained a spot in the England working hunter pony team aboard her pony Landslow Melody Maker.

Her raw talent and potential was recognised by the England team.

Lola’s mum, Catherine, commented last week: ’The selectors choose the top three combinations in each height based on results and performance over the season.

’We are so excited to be heading to the British Show Pony Society Summer Championships at Arena UK in Lincolnshire to watch Lola make her first team appearance. It’s so rewarding to see all her hard work paying off.’

Lola will be competing against teams from Northern Ireland, Scotland and Wales in the competition that consists of dressage, show jumping and traditional working hunter fences.

During normal pre-Covid times, Lola and Catherine would go away every weekend and school holiday between March and October to compete the ponies.

This year and last was slightly different because of the border restrictions, thus not allowing them to make as many trips, meaning fewer opportunities to qualify than fellow competitors in the UK.

These difficulties didn’t affect Lola though, as she qualified for the prestigious Horse of the Year Show in 2020 after being crowned champion at the BSPS Midsummer Show.

In May this year she and Landslow Melody Maker, also known as ’Mel’, had only one chance to qualify for the Royal International because of the travel restrictions.

Catherine explained: ’We went to the BSPS Working Sports Pony Show at Vale View, and they jumped the only clear round to win - going on to become champion.

’We were over the moon and so lucky to get a much-needed qualification.’

Being selected to represent England is the cherry on top for the short, yet very successful season this tight-knit family unit is having.

’After the summer we will be preparing for Horse of the Year Show in October, then Mel will have a much-deserved holiday,’ she concluded.

l Lola and Catherine would like to thank IoM Steam Packet Co for its support, Sarah Challinor for her training and King William’s College for allowing Lola the time off school to compete.