A 17-year-old sixth former at Bishop Heber School in Malpas has been selected to represent England at both the World and European Mounted Games Championships.

Victoria Dakin of Edge, near Malpas, was selected for the Under 17s squad at team trials and now heads to the World Championships at Millstreet in Ireland on July 11-17 and to the European Championships at Luhmühlen in Germany on July 25-30.

Victoria is one of a team of five and takes Smokey – loaned to her by Becky Thomas – to the international competitions while she rides Dancer for Dave Powell of Oswestry at the home international.

Victoria Dakin, 17 of Edge, near Malpas and Smokey in action at a Mounted Games Association competition. Photo: Elizabeth Ellis Photography
Victoria and Smokey in action at a Mounted Games Association competition

Victoria said: “I can’t quite believe it. It was quite a tough selection process. We were watched by selectors at three competitions earlier this year, and then a shortlist of 12 riders were asked to come to the team trials.

“The final squad of five with one reserve rider was then chosen to go to the championships. It is a wonderful opportunity.”

Victoria is no stranger to mounted games. She represented Sir Watkin Williams Wynn Hunt branch of the Pony Club on both junior and senior teams, which led to her riding at the Horse of the Year Show and Royal Windsor, and has been competing in games from the age of five.

The age limit for Pony Club mounted games is 15, so after that she rode at Mounted Games Association events representing Brecon.

She is looking forward to competing at two of the best international equestrian venues in Europe and meeting teams from all over the world.

As well as the usual teams from the USA, Australia, New Zealand, South Africa, Canada and most European states at the world competition, there are also lesser known competitors from Iran and Burkina Faso taking part this year.

Similarly, most European states send teams to the European championships.

Both championships will be live streamed from their respective webpages this year.