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Janou Bleekman Takes Irish Junior Crown at Tattersall

Janou Bleekman

Tattersalls Irish National Junior Championships CCI 1* produced a convincing winner in Granntevka Prince, ridden by our youngest sponsored rider, Janou Bleekman, who led the dressage with a fabulous score of 36.3 – over three marks ahead of the second best test.

Prince (as he is known at home) is owned by Gerry and David Mills from Cornwall and was in spectacular form with Janou, storming around the cross country and show jumping, adding no further penalties  and increasing their winning margin to an amazing 9.5 penalties ahead of the eventual runner up – Great Britain’s Annie Keir with Flying Machine.

A delighted Janou said, “Prince was brilliant all week. He is such a lovely horse to ride and gave me a real buzz in all three phases. He is a new ride for me this season and it is wonderful to have a horse that has been so beautifully produced – and whose father was one of our own stallions!”

Granntevka Prince was bred by David and Gerry from a mare by local Thoroughbred stallion, Prince of Peace, using the Bleekmans’ stallion, Grannex .

He has had a wonderful career with Lucy Weigersma previously – among their many triumphs was winning the CCI 3* at the Blenheim International in 2009.  A decision was made by the Mills to let him drop down to Junior level, and hopefully Young Riders in the future, and to enjoy him competing with a young jockey rising up through the ranks.

Janou’s father, Edward, is Dutch and she represents The Netherlands when competing internationally, but is based in the UK in Devon.

She said, “It is the first time for me to stand on the podium for the Dutch anthem – and, we believe, the first time our flag has been raised at an Irish three-day-event. I was very proud and now my aim with Prince is to represent Holland in the Junior European Championships if we are selected.”

With her other seasoned campaigner, Prince Apollo, Janou finished just outside the money in the CCI 2* Under 25, finishing again on their dressage score.

“My ‘Princes’ have been stars at Tattersalls.” said Janou.  “It has been an amazing week!”

Janou Bleekman