Tabitha Kyle: Rising Star in Show Jumping

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Tabitha Kyle a cavallo prima di una gara al Sunshine Tour

(c) Morella Media – Tabhita Kyle

In the fast-paced world of equestrian sports, Tabitha Kyle stands out as a remarkable talent. At just 16 years old, she has already made a name for herself internationally, competing in show jumping with a level of skill and determination that belies her age. Born into a family of eventers, Tabitha chose to follow her passion for show jumping, guided by her parents Mark Kyle, an Olympic Eventer, and Tanya, who competed up to 4* level in eventing.

Tabitha’s journey in the equestrian world has been nothing short of impressive. Despite juggling school and other commitments, she rides every day and competes regularly both nationally and internationally. Her dedication and talent have led to numerous achievements, including winning prestigious titles such as Pony Showjumper of the Year and 138cm National Champion. Her list of achievements includes:

  • 2020 Won Pony Showjumper of the Year
  • 2020 138cm National Champion
  • 2020 Won Pony Foxhunter Final
  • 2020 Won 4 Grand Prix in one day in Le Mans
  • 2020 Won 138cm Championship at HOYS
  • 2019 Team Bronze CH Europeans
  • 2019 Individual 5th CH Europeans
  • 2019 128cm & 138cm HOYS Champion
  • 2019 138cm National Champion
  • 2019 Won Bolesworth 138 Grand Prix
  • 2019 Won Bolesworth 128 championship
  • 2019 Won CH Grand Prix at Chepstow & Lamprechtshausen
  • 2019 2nd in Nations Cup at Lamprechtshausen
  • 2019 Won the Nations Cup at Wierden
  • 2019 won 128cm and 138cm at HOYS
  • 2019 Won Liverpool 128cm Grand Prix
  • 2018, 2017 & 2019 Won Liverpool 138 Grand Prix
  • 2018/2019 1st & 2nd the Gold League 138cm autumn/winter
  • 2018/2019 1st 2nd 3rd Gold League 128cm autumn/winter
  • 1st 2nd 3rd & 4th in Silver League East Midlands
  • And many more.

In an exclusive interview, Tabitha shares insights into her equestrian career, her family’s influence, the importance of trust between horse and rider, her recovery from a recent accident, and her aspirations for the future.

Following her Passion

Tabitha explains, “Although my family were eventers, I always had a passion for show jumping. I did do a bit of eventing when I was younger, but my parents chose for me to go down the show jumping route instead.” She adds, “My true passion is the jumping and speed classes.”

Family Support

Tabitha acknowledges the pivotal role her parents have played in her journey, stating, “My parents have fully supported my equestrian career.” She emphasizes, “I wouldn’t be where I am today without their guidance both on and off the horse.” Tabitha credits her mother as a significant influence, noting, “She comes to all my shows, is with me every day at home for training, and knows the horses inside out.”

Building Trust with Horses

“For me building a strong relationship with your horses outside of the arena is crucial,” Tabitha emphasizes. She elaborates, “You have to trust your horse and they need to trust you as well. If you don’t have trust, they won’t jump for you.” Tabitha’s approach to training is meticulous, focusing on flatwork and strategic course practice to ensure peak performance. “Every horse is different, so they all have different routines before a big competition,” she explains. “For me, flatwork is crucial, so I really work on this every day at home.”

Overcoming Challenges

Tabitha recounts her experience recovering from a car accident, saying, “Unfortunately, I was in a car accident towards the end of 2023 where I sustained a neck fracture and couldn’t ride for 3 months while I was recovering.” Despite facing setbacks, including a car accident that left her sidelined for three months with a neck fracture in late 2023, Tabitha remains undeterred in her pursuit of excellence. “I couldn’t wait to just get back on the horses,” she shares. Despite the setback, she adds, “After lots of rest and physio, I was able to start riding again in January 2024.”

Memorable Achievements

Reflecting on her career highlights, Tabitha shares, “It is impossible to pick just one of my favorite memories or wins from ponies.” She fondly recalls winning four Grand Prix in one day and dominating at prestigious events like Horse Of The Year show and the Europeans. “Some stand-out moments have to be when I won four Grand Prix in the same day in Le Mans.” Tabitha shares with HSJ, “Of course the Europeans is always one to remember, riding for Team GB is always special”

Transition to Horses

Transitioning from ponies to horses, Tabitha advises patience and emphasizes the importance of returning to basics. She notes, “There are so many more options in horses that it really means I can take horses of all levels to each show and be productive. For people making the switch of riding between ponies and horses I would recommend taking your time and almost going back to the basics with the horses before trying to jump all the big stuff. We have unlimited years in horses so there isn’t a rush and better to get the flatwork right on the horses first which will make the jumping so much easier. “

Since a young age Tabitha had always been lucky enough to ride horses her whole life, making the transition process smoother. “Since I was young I have always also ridden horses at the same time as ponies so I was lucky this helped me make the transition so smoothly.”

That Special Bond

One of Tabitha’s key partners in her equestrian journey is Desterly, affectionately known as Lily, a 16-year-old mare. “Desterly has been a crucial part of my string since 2021,” Tabitha explains. “I was very lucky that my owners Su and Gordon Hall brought her for me to ride, and we have really grown together.”

Reflecting on her bond with Desterly, Tabitha describes their journey together as a perfect match. “She is a lovely mare but a bit quirky, so she took me a while to get used to,” Tabitha shares. “Once we clicked though, we were a perfect match together, and I’m so lucky to be able to ride a horse like her.”

Future Goals

Looking ahead, Tabitha has her sights set on the 2028 LA Olympics. She says, “The goal for everyone in the sport is the Olympics.” With determination and talent, she is already making strides towards her dream, building a strong string of horses and aiming for her first senior Nations Cups for Team GB. “I am particularly aiming for the 2028 LA Olympics. I am already starting to look for horses with my owners and really trying to build a string strong enough to climb the rankings and do my first senior nations cup’s for Team GB as soon as I turn 18.”

Tabitha Kyle’s story is one of passion, dedication, and unwavering commitment to her sport. As she continues to shine on the international stage, her journey serves as an inspiration to aspiring equestrians everywhere. With her talent and determination, the future of show jumping looks brighter than ever

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