The 2018 Horse & Hound outstanding mare award has been won by Trisha Rickards’ home-bred Faerie Dazzler (Catherston Dazzler x Ben Faerie).

The award was presented by H&H’s Polly Bryan at the annual British Horse Foundation’s British Breeders’ Awards Dinner in London on Saturday night (13 January), when Catherston Stud’s Jennie Loriston-Clarke collected the prize on Trisha’s behalf.

“Daisy”, the second horse bred by Trisha, was born in 1990 at Catherston Stud.

“She’s always been lovely — she was a brave mare and had a feisty temperament when being ridden, but she was always easy as pie in the field,” said Trisha, who still has Daisy, now 28, at home at Brockenhurst Park in Hampshire.

With David Green, Daisy competed at the top level in eventing, gaining 214 British Eventing points. Her best result was a ninth-place finish at Saumur CCI3* in 2001, before retiring from competition the following year.

She produced six foals, with the now 13-year-old Faerie Dianimo, by Keystone Dimaggio, going on to compete successfully at four-star, including finishing 17th individually at the 2016 Rio Olympics with New Zealand’s Jonelle Price.

The 12-year-old Xavier Faer, by Catherston Liberator, has also followed in her footsteps with Jonelle’s husband Tim, finishing third at Badminton 2017.

“Because my first mare, Faerie Dancer, competed to three-star level too, I sort of thought that was what always happened — you get a bit spoilt. But it doesn’t — you’re very lucky if you get one who goes to the top level, let alone several,” said Trisha.

“Being a breeder, I always think the mare is more important than the stallion. If your mare gives good stock you can do a lot with them.

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“It’s a long old journey that breeders take and it takes years to get the progeny out there. I’m so lucky to have two of Daisy’s foals at four-star, and another on the way up,” added Trisha.

“Daisy owes me absolutely nothing; she has a nice life and she’ll stay here in the park for the rest of her days. She still babysits her youngsters when they come back for a holiday — she likes to put them in line!”

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