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After a challenging 2015, 2016 has got off to a cracking start as I have been selected as an ambassador for Balanced Horse Feeds.

A friend of mine spotted the competition in the run up to Christmas. To mark 30 years of producing quality feeds Balanced were offering 30 sponsorships across the equestrian disciplines. The lucky top five would receive a year’s full feed sponsorship and other goodies for their horse. To enter you simply wrote a short piece explaining why you and your horse would be a good choice for consideration.

>>> Emily Ham’s driving blog: You’re never too old

I entered my registered Welsh Section C pony Crossfield Glory, aka Mr J, as he is an outstanding driving pony across all the driven disciplines.

There were 750 applications with sponsorships awarded across the whole range of disciplines; Trec, showjumping, dressage, carriage driving, eventers, showing — both in-hand and ridden and the range of horses – youngsters, older horses, and at local level as well as more advanced partnerships, so as you can imagine I was absolutely thrilled to be one of the top five awarded the full sponsorship!

Emily with Mr J

Emily with Mr J

It is wonderful to have recognition for our partnership. Mr J and I have achieved many wins in indoor and national driving trials (twice being British national champions together), as well as scurry and trials.

Together we have also been champion and supreme champion in many private driving classes. We have been selected and have competed in six internationals winning the individual Derby Cup and have won the Welsh Pony and Cob Society overall driving award in the annual performance league many times.

>>> Emily Ham’s driving blog: Shetland fun

We also promote carriage driving through driven demos and master classes showing Mr J’s advanced skills, and with his good schooling, obedience and responsiveness he is a fantastic teaching pony introducing many novices and juniors to carriage driving.

I am especially proud that last summer he took a 14-year-old to the top in private driving winning the junior class and reserve championship at Smiths Lawn and behaving impeccably during the extended trot parading in front of HRH The Queen with his young driver.

In the autumn he introduced my dad who is 60-years-old to driving for the first time and got him well and truly hooked! Dad is really enjoying indoor driving trials and thanks to Mr J is building a great collection of red rosettes.

Competing in dressage with Alfie

Competing in dressage with Alfie

As Mr J undertakes such a wide range of activities it is particularly challenging to find a feed to suit him. For the work he does he needs to be able to keep a calm head yet have excellent stamina. Under the guidance of the Balanced feed specialist we have started feeding a mix that he really enjoys, which is great as he is a fussy eater. His coat is gleaming and he looks stunning! As a veteran pony we also feed him a supplement to help keep him supple and at the top of his game. Because of the work he does he is also fed electrolytes, as this is an important part of his health and feeding regime for use with training at home as well as at events.

>>> Emily Ham’s driving blog: Inspired by a champion

A nice extra touch from Balanced Feeds was the bagged treats which he loves! He has these in his horseball which I use to encourage foraging behaviours when stabled and makes the perfect distraction when I am busy with the other ponies. With the terrible stormy weather his horseball has been much in use!

This sponsorship is such a fantastic boost to me and my ponies and I hope to build on our success in driven showing and driving trials and also in ridden activities — dressage in particular.

Emily