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Two young ponies became Horse of the Year Show Champions this afternoon, in their first season competing. Moortown Honeyman was crowned Mountain & Moorland Working Hunter Champion and Rollswood Nureyev won the SEIB Search For a Star Ponies.

“I don’t quite know what to do now,” said a delighted Deana Barbour who owns Rollwood Nureyev. “We just came up for the day but now we have to go to the final tomorrow.” The result means another day off school for her daughter Sienna who rides Rollwood Nureyev.

The 137cm palomino pony is only a six-year-old and had only been to four shows when he qualified for HOYS. “He’s an everyday pony as well as a show pony,” Ms Barbour explained. “He does Pony Club and he is learning how to jump – we’ve been desperately trying to keep his coat from growing before HOYS though.”

Similarly Moortown Honeyman, a six-year-old bay Dartmoor stallion is only in his first season of working hunter classes. According to his rider Petrina Theobald, he is an extremely easy ride.

His owner J Barton is ecstatic that he has already won such a prestigious championship. “I bought him from a breeder in Devon,” said Ms Barton. “I was looking for a substantial stallion to bring on and I’m delighted with how he has matured.”