Dream comes true

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TIM Davies will realise a life-long dream when he lines up at the world famous Horse of the Year show in the international classes next week.

The Bury St Edmunds showjumper has been handed one of five wildcard entries at the age of 46 after qualifying through points built up around county shows in the International Stairway, which he won, and an International Trial.

And Davies, who runs Sandpit Farm yard at Walsham-le-Willows, cannot wait to get in the ring riding some of the finest horses in Europe with Dutch-bred Valentijn.O, German-bred Salome II and Irish-bred Enrique at the NEC in Birmingham from Thursday.

He said: “It has been a long time coming but in showjumping you are never too old.

“It is a fantastic opportunity. I have never been able to go there for the week and to qualify is the next step for the horses. I just feel at the end of a good year this is great for them.”

Davies will guide the horses through three classes on Thursday and Friday and two on Saturday and Sunday.

Nine-year-old Valentijn.O is owned by Sarah Cheverix-Trench, from just outside Ipswich, 11-year-old Salome II by Barrett Watson, of Bury, who runs the yard with him and 14-year-old Enrique by Jess Tillett, of Chelmsford.