A KIDDERMINSTER youngster stunned judges to win a dressage event less than a year after taking up the sport.

Grace Brighton, aged 11, came top in the British Dressage Nettex Native Breed championships at Bury Farm Equestrian Centre over the weekend of November 2 and 3.

She qualified for the championships over the summer with her pony partner Freddie, whose show name is Brockabye Pharaoh.

Grace teamed up with Freddie in March this year and this is their first season competing together in dressage.

The class on the Saturday was made up with competitors from all over the country and all age groups, with Grace being the youngest in the class.

She was marked by two different sets of judges and scored 72.5 per cent.

This was the highest score of the day across all classes and Grace and Freddie’s highest to date.

Proud father Trevor said: "We couldn't believe it. It was hard. She stuck to her mentality to do her best."

"Dressage is just open to the judge's interpretation. When it was announced that she was the winner it was so unreal.

"Her grandparents were in the crowd. We ran back to tell Grace and she couldn't believe it."

"Winning that sash at her age is something she will always remember.

"The two have been together since March, when Grace started dressage.

"She trains with the West Midlands Dressage Group and Albrighton Woodland Hunt Pony Club."

The winning pair also participated in another class the following day, ranking 8th.

Grace said: "It was a great experience and I couldn't believe I had won, I never thought I would win this championship.

"I was super pleased with Freddie he was amazing, and all of the training I had done over the past few months had paid off."