LLANDEGVETH rider Gabby Baldock has won a prestigious award at the 2012 Pony Club National Championships.

The 18-year-old eventer and showjumper, a former pupil of St Joseph's High School in Newport, collected the coveted Horsemanship Cup.

It is awarded to the competition's outstanding show-jumper, and was judged by 1960 Olympian Dawn Wofford and national coach and rider Michael Jones.

Previous winners include London 2012 gold medallist Scott Brash, who helped Great Britain to the Olympic team showjumping title at Greenwich Park earlier this month alongside Nick Skel-ton, Ben Maher and Peter Charles.

Gabby, representing Monmouthshire Pony Club and riding her eight-year-old Rooney VI, had just one fence down in five rounds of showjumping at the picturesque venue of Cholmondeley Castle in Cheshire.

The combination also went clear in the showjumping and cross-country phases of this year's open eventing national final, finishing seventh in their 30-strong section.

Gabby, who works and trains with Usk-based professional eventer Vicky Tuffs at GHF Equestrian, is now preparing for her CIC one-star debut at the What-ley Manor Gatcombe International Horse Trials next month.

Monmouthshire Pony Club district commissioner Charlotte Rowell said: "It was a fantastic day for Gabby. She was the outstanding winner of the Horsemanship Cup, which went to the best rider in the open showjumping out of nearly 100 competitors.

"We are so proud of her."

Gabby was joined in Monmouthshire's open showjumping team by Gabriella Bligh, Lucy Morgan and Ben Fitzpatrick and in the open eventing team by Menna Rose and Tilly Williams.

Monmouthshire also fielded the championships' youngest competitor in six-year-old Sam Hopkins, who was a member of the junior pony club games team. The senior games team, meanwhile, finished a creditable fifth despite being years younger than their fellow competitors.

The Pony Club was founded in 1929 and its annual championships attract more than 1,500 riders from all parts of Great Britain. It is the world's largest equestrian youth organisation.

Former members include Britain's entire London 2012 silver medal-winning eventing team of Zara Phillips, William Fox-Pitt, Mary King, Nicola Wilson and Tina Cook, showjumpers Brash, Skelton and Maher, plus dressage gold and bronze medallist Laura Bechtolsheimer.