Quality not quantity in Royal Windsor show pony classes

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Nine-year-old Ella Stuttard was already on a high after winning the 128cm show pony class at Royal Windsor Horse Show today with her beautifully-mannered 128cm Barkway Frivolity, but was rendered speechless after another foot-perfect display earned her the overall title in the main ring.

The nine-year-old mare is produced in Yorkshire by Team Ahern, for whom it was a first Windsor win. “It’s only Ella’s second affiliated season, so to do this here is just amazing,” said Kirsty Pickles (nee Ahern). The pony joined the team after HOYS last year, where she was second with Harriet Dennison.

Numbers were down for these sections, but there was quality in abundance and reserve went to Henrietta Windsor-Phillips and the 148cm winner, Wythwood Desert Prince, an exciting five-year-old in his first ‘proper’ season.

“He wasn’t gelded until two years ago, and then broken-in,” said Carol Gilbert-Scott, who helps the family. “He just hacked out and did a handful of novice classes last year, and this is only his second open show pony class.”

The 138cm class fell to last year’s novice and open champion here, Broadgrove Showman, partnered by Ellis Taverner-Burns.

The top novice spot this time went to Showman’s full-brother. This was the five-year-old Broadgrove Only You, produced by Peter Thomas and Alexandra Fowler.

“It’s a shame there weren’t more ponies here, but it’s a combination of people not having the money and there being fewer ponies around,” said Peter.

This was the third outing of the season for the 138cm campaigner, who beat his HOYS-winning brother at the BSPS winter championships.

Senior steward Seb Garner looked on proudly as his daughter Kinvara, nine, won the first ridden class with an immaculate performance on the family-produced Basford Playboy, and then stood mini-champion. Seb won the title himself in 1964 on the lead rein, and the win today was the fulfilment of a long-held family ambition.

The Cooper family racked up a third generation of Windsor winners when Matilda Masters headed a strong lead rein class with Deanhills Fascination. Her mother, Gaby Cooper, previously won here with her 148cm show pony, Private Eye, and grandmother Sonia Cooper scored with the HOYS-winning hack, Jennifer’s Diary.

Royal Windsor results

show pony, novice (D Park) 138cm 1 & ch, A Fowler’s Broadgrove Only You; 2, G Holder’s Hurstparkforest Prince Charming; 3, L Maltby’s Jamana Monkey Puzzle. 148cm 1 & res, D Dixon & Mrs F Harforth’s Dance All Night; 2, A Fowler’s Maythornes Easter Dimension; 3, S Andrews’ Beauty On The Day. first ridden (S Hollings, Mrs P Pattinson) 1 & ch, Mr & Mrs S Garner’s Basford Playboy; 2 & res, M Cartlidge’s Megland Jaunty; 3, B Taverner’s Barkway Precocious. lead rein 1, R Cockram & S Cooper’s Deanhills Fascination; 2, C Smalley’s Barkway Daisy May; 3, Ahern & Clements’ Seaves Buzzy Bee. open (Mrs V Smith, Mrs A Smyth) 128cm 1 & ch, R Stuttard’s Barkway Frivolity; 2, Jago & Carvosso’s Penny Royal Little Pageboy; 3, S Kivlochan’s Chinook Easter Magic. 138cm 1, S Brewis’ Broadgrove Showman; 2, K Williams’ Rhos Emperor; 3, L Hood’s Anndalyse Tallulah. 148cm 1 & res, V Windsor-Phillips’ Wythwood Desert Prince; 2, Mrs Weaver’s Wilderness Fancy Spice; 3, Jago & Carvosso’s Crafton Touch Of Gold.