As we all look forward to a hectic season of summer showing, we take a moment to reminisce about the good old days — and what better way to do so than flipping through a history book of past show ring stars who left their mark (or hoof prints) on the showing world we know and love today.

In conjunction with Ponies Of Yesteryear, H&H columnist Stuart Hollings and several readers, Horse & Hound shares 19 nostalgic photos of show horses and ponies from back in the day. Who do you recognise?

1. Sandbourne Royal Ensign


Sandbourne Royal Ensign photographed in 1981. One of the leading riding pony sires in the UK today, his stock has taken four Horse of the Year Show (HOYS) ridden show pony championship titles.

Credit: sent by Ponies Of Yesteryears

2. Snailwell Charles


In 1974, the 138cm show pony Snailwell Charles (HOYS Champion show pony 1972 and HOYS class winner in 1973) is shown receiving his first placed rosette at the Royal Norfolk show from judge Donald Owen.

Credit: sent by Stuart Hollings

3. Walstead Composer


Pictured in 1984 is the chestnut 13.2hh pony Walstead Composer, a successful breeding sire who is responsible for champions including Rhos Elite and Rhos Eloquence.

Credit: by Richard Bigden/sent by Ponies Of Yesteryears

4. Holly Of Spring


Holly Of Spring winning at HOYS, Wembley.

Credit: Horse & Hound

5. Dykes Rosie Mead


Mini mountain and moorland champion at HOYS in 2003 was Dykes Rosie Mead, who was owned by the Hollings family, ridden by Alexandra Hollings and led by their producer Katy Carter. Alexandra also won the HOYS mini show pony championship that year on Trevaylor Tiger Lily, produced and led by Katy Carter for owner/breeder Liz Stanleick.

Credit: sent by Stuart Hollings

6. Cusop Emery


Cusop Emery winning the 153cm working hunter pony class with H&H columnist Stuart Hollings at the Royal Lancashire Show in 1973. The pair then went on to clinch the overall championship.

Credit: sent by Stuart Hollings

7. Ardenhall Royal Secret


Three-year-old Ardenhall Royal Secret winning at the Royal Bath & West Show with then owner Joyce Newbery.

Credit: sent by Paul Hattrick

8. Show ponies at The Royal Show


A strong 13.2hh Show Pony line up at The Royal Show in 1964. From L-R: Pollyanna and Ally Patterson; Cusop Felicity and Suzanne Eckley; China Tea and Joyce Newbery; True Love and Judy Bradwell.

Credit: sent by Paul Hattrick

9. Deaconwood Goldprint


The most successful dun show pony of all time Deaconwood Goldprint is pictured winning the show pony championship at the Royal International in 2002 with Chelsea Foster aboard. He also won this title in 1999 and his class at HOYS in 1998 and 2000.

Credit: sent by Stuart Hollings

10. Royal Bronze

Team Hollings produced the show pony Royal Bronze, who is seen here winning at HOYS in 1993 with his owner/rider Anna Evans. L-R: Royal Bronze, Courtland Mayfair, Unique and Courtland Cottage Fair.

Credit: sent by Stuart Hollings

11. Sophie Pettit and sister


Sophie Pettit and her sister Georgie Shepherd on their ponies Meadowfield Pasha (left) and Beau Brummell (right).

Credit: sent by Sophie Pettit

12. Pairs at Richmond Royal

Competitors take to the ring in the pairs class at Richmond Royal in the 1960s.

Credit: sent by Paul Hattrick

13. Creden Lucky Charm

Sybil Smith presents Joyce Newbery and Creden Lucky Charm, the winners of Richmond Royal’s children side saddle class, with their trophy in 1967.

Credit: sent by Paul Hattrick

14. Trellech Giselle

Bred by Carol Gould, the legendary riding pony Trellech Giselle is pictured here as a yearling in 1977.

Credit: sent by Ponies Of Yesteryears

15. Theobalds Zinty

Sharon Wilson riding the 13.2hh show pony Theobalds Zinty in 1981.

Credit: sent by Sharon Wilson

16. Millie

Pictured here in the early 1990s at Meldtreth Manor Horse Show, Cambridge, is Wendy Pettit on her friend’s hunter and showjumper, Millie. Her daughter Sophie says: “My mum’s knowledge and experience is the reason why I’ve been so successful in the ring — I have grown up learning the proper ways of grooming, turn out and showing.”

Credit: sent by Sophie Pettit

17. White Willows Bewitching

White Willows Bewitching with Nick Schofield in the saddle and Jacky Newbery on the end of the lead rein. Jacky, of the famous Newoak Stud, writes on her website that ‘Witchy’ started the family’s love affair with the Dartmoor pony.

Credit: sent by: Paul Hattrick

18. Downland Smuggler

The famous 143cm working hunter pony Downland Smuggler with Nigel Hollings competing for the Hindley Cup at Ponies of Britain in the East of England main ring in 1976. He had earlier won the working hunter pony championship and the prestigious Bombay Hunt Cup.

Credit: sent by Stuart Hollings

19. Lechlade Quince

One of the most successful riding pony sires of all time, Lechlade Quince, pictured enjoying a show ring outing.

Credit: sent by Ponies Of Yesteryears

20. Pretty Polly

Legendary show pony Pretty Polly snapped on one of her many show ring appearances.

Credit: sent by Ponies Of Yesteryears

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