The dressage performer Conchita was the winner of the first pony final of the South Essex Insurance Brokers/British Equestrian Federation young horse evaluations. These took place at the Sports Pony Studbook grading and in-hand show at the Heart of England Equestrian Centre.

Nicki Parnell’s German-bred bay gained the highest mark of the four finalists — the top qualifiers from the six regional evaluations for four-year-olds held earlier in the year.

Conchita, who was ridden by Nicki’s daughter, Sarah, is by the exported Welsh pony stallion Constantin — sire of many successful German ponies, including the 1999 European dressage gold and silver medallists Conrad and Cash And Go. She is out of a mare by the Trakehner sire Michaelangelo and was bought in Germany as a three-year-old.

“I wasn’t really looking for mare, but she was the sweetest, nicest, well-mannered pony I’d seen in a long time and was just perfect for a child,” said Nicki, who formerly rode internationally for Bermuda as an eventer.

Conchita’s overall score of 85.65% also meant that she was awarded an elite mare diploma.

Tynycae Sandmartin, another successful pony by the Pincus’s grand prix stallion Wurlitzer, was the best British-bred, finishing just behind the winner. Out of the mare Tynycae Goldfinch, by Sarnau Valentine, Sandmartin is owned by her breeder, Serena Pincus, and was ridden by Sheepcote Stud’s stable jockey Kara Smith. Sandmartin was also the winner of the Central Prefix Register (CPR) award for the highest qualifying score by any horse or pony with a CPR prefix in this year’s evaluations.

Top potential show jumper Machno Showtime was third with a score of 83.9%. Nicola Slater’s pony was bred by Merion Jones and is by the successful Welsh section D stallion Carregcoch Bleddyn, the leading sire of performance ponies in 2005.

  • Read more sport horse breeding news in today’s Horse & Hound (4 January, ’07)