Victory at the Liverpool International was a fitting end to the brilliant partnership between Jodie Hall-McAteer and the outstanding — if quirky — chestnut mare Tixylix.
Few ponies have been quite so successful with so many young jockeys and, for the past 13 years, the brilliant Tixylix has been thrilling the crowds — and making us all slightly envious that we didn’t have a 148cm pony like that to ride, too.
So to celebrate this brilliant, spring-heeled 19-year-old, here are just eight reasons we think Tixylix is a jumping megastar.
1. She’s a winning machine
Over the years, riders such as Emma Akers, Zoe Adams, Jessica Mendoza and Jodie Hall-McAteer (pictured) have taken the reins, clocking up nearly £50,000 in prize-money. Tixylix simply doesn’t know how to lose.
2. She’s a brilliant pony to have on your team
Jessica Mendoza paired up with Tixylix from 2008 to 2012, capturing two team gold medals at pony European championships, as well as an individual bronze, and the mare was on gold-winning squads with both Zoe Adams and Jodie Hall-McAteer, too.
3. She jumps for joy
The smile on Jodie’s face says it all — she may not be the easiest pony to ride but she certainly gives her jockeys a real buzz in the ring!
4. She could outjump most horses
Despite standing just 148cm, Tixylix has the scope to clear obstacles breathtakingly high and nerve-shatteringly wide. We’re pretty sure she’s got springs installed in those dainty hooves.
5. Blink and you’ll miss her
Warp speed is Tixylix’s default mode and she relishes every opportunity to give her jockey a thrilling ride against the clock.
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6. She’s been a brilliant stepping stone for her riders
That transitional stage between ponies and horses can sometimes be fraught, but Tixylix (seen here with Zoe Adams) has provided each of her riders with a brilliant send off into the big league.
7. She has been at the top of her game for more than 12 years
Even back in 2004 (here with Emma Akers), Tixylix was already stacking up the red rosettes and silverware.
8. She sealed her latest partnership with a tremendous grand slam
HOYS? Tick. Olympia? Tick. Liverpool? Tick. Jodie Hall-McAteer and Tixylix gallop out of the spotlight for the final time with an unprecedented hat-trick of 148cm championships on the trot. Thank you Tixylix, you’re an absolute legend.
Don’t miss the full report from the Liverpool International in tomorrow’s issue of Horse & Hound magazine (5 January 2017)