GB struck by Gale force

Jessica Gale or Jess Gale on her horse Umbro-S
Jessica Gale or Jess Gale on her horse Umbro-S
Christian Burgess, left, and the Pompey squad pay their respects to Cyrille Regis before Saturday's clash at Rotherham. Picture: Joe Pepler

Pompey defender pays tribute to key influence Regis

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Jessica Gale has stunned selectors to win a place on the Great Britain squad.

The Worlds End talent proved her doubters wrong, training up a horse written off by national officials to seal a spot on the team and then producing an exceptional display on debut.

And to further underline her growing promise, the 17-year-old has been nominated for the Hickstead International – with not one but two of her horses.

The jury was out when disaster struck Gale’s favourite mount Umbro S, known as Neukey.

With the horse sidelined through injury, the emerging talent refused to rest on her laurels and set to work training her second horse, Rebellski, nicknamed Rebel.

When she first approached the Great Britain selectors, Gale was told Rebel simply wasn’t good enough.

But she would not take no for an answer.

After weeks of relentless training, the teenager had schooled Rebel to such a high standard the selectors had no choice but to call the duo into the national squad.

And Gale soon justified the decision, as the partnership shone in their first meet – the Addington International.

They returned scores of 67.11 per cent in the junior team event and 64.43 in the junior individual competition.

Since then, Gale and Rebel have finished sixth in the medium open freestyle at the Merrist Wood Regional Championship.

They were third with 69.05 in the junior team event at the Myerscough Premier League and placed sixth in the same category at the Somerford Premier League.

Neukey was back with a bang last month, though.

Gale, who is now a member of Team Selwood, steered him to victory in the PYO freestyle at the Wellington Premier League event with a score of 70.58.

She was then part of the junior team who notched second spot with 69.00.

After such a stunning first half of the year, it is no surprise then that Gale has been nominated for the Hickstead International on both her rides – Rebel and Neukey.

The prestigious event will be held next month.