A filly who was bought for just 50 pence as a foal two years ago has qualified for Horse of the Year Show (HOYS) for showing producer Lisha Leeman.

The part-bred Arab, called Bankswood Airs And Graces — ‘Poppy’ at home — won the Cuddy in-hand championship at Midlands County (1-2 June) securing her ticket for the final at HOYS.

Lisha bought Poppy when she was just three months old, along with the filly’s dam Fairlyn Finesse, from Chris Sanderson of the Bankswood Stud, which he was in the process of winding down.

“He wanted the pair to go to a wonderful home, but I didn’t really want any more horses, so I offered him £1 for them both. And he accepted it,” said Lisha. “I bought them blind, but when I saw the baby I fell in love with her. She’s a very easy youngster to deal with, so willing and giving.”

Poppy, who is by Dolphin Superstar, won three times last season but this was her first time out as a two-year-old.

“She’ll go on as a three-year-old and we might look to keep her on as a broodmare. I think she’d be good under saddle too,” added Lisha.

  • See full report from Midlands County on p68 Horse & Hound magazine (13 June, 2013)