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Nottawa student qualifies for Royal Winter Fair

12-year-old Abbi Ottewell has been ranked No. 4 in Canada in pony jumping; will be competing in national competition in November
Abbi Ottewell and her horse Moody Blue will be competing in pony jumping at the Royal Agricultural Winter Fair in November.

Twelve-year-old Abbi Ottewell spent her summer working toward a winter event.

The Nottawa Elementary School student recently qualified to compete in the Royal Agricultural Winter Fair horse show this November. In order to qualify, Ottewell has had weekly competition showings from May through October.

She’s been ranked No. 4 in all of Canada in the pony jumpers division.

“When I found out that I qualified for the Royal, I was really excited,” Ottewell told “The Royal is one of the biggest equestrian shows in all of Canada and it means a lot to me to ride in such an important event.”

Ottewell says she’s been riding since she was two but started horse showing the summer she turned four. Her father Scott is a riding coach and horse trainer and everyone in her family rides, so she says she was drawn to the sport due to exposure from a young age.

“My parents owned an equestrian facility in Kingston, where I was born,” she said. “I like the sport of horse showing because it takes a team between me and the horse to make it work.”

“I missed a lot of school and had to do a lot of school work at the horse shows to stay caught up,” said Ottewell, adding she also plays hockey locally and had to balance spring tryouts and summer hockey into the mix at the same time.

She says she also enjoys taking care of the horses and making new friends at the various horse shows she attends.

While she showed three different ponies this year, she’ll be taking her pony Moody Blue to the Royal. The 16-year-old horse has competed at the Royal before, however this is the first time he’ll be attending with Ottewell. At the Royal, the prize money can be anywhere from $2,500 to $5,000 depending on where the rider places in the rankings.

When looking to her future, Ottewell says she’d like to attend veterinary school in Ireland after she graduates high school.

“What I would really, really love to do is to be a professional rider, but I would still go to university to become a vet first,” she said, noting that short-term, she’d like to participate in different show jumping classes and would like to continue playing rep hockey in Collingwood.

She attributes much of her success to the support of her family.

“I want to thank my mom and dad for helping to give me the opportunity to ride and horse show,” said Ottewell. “They support me no matter what the outcome of the show is and always give me tips for how to be better.”

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Jessica Owen

About the Author: Jessica Owen

Jessica Owen brings 13 years of experience to her role as reporter for Village Media, primarily covering Collingwood and education.
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