It proved wall-to-wall colour on the opening day at the Longines Royal International Horse Show at Hickstead as seven well-filled BSPA coloured classes kept judges busy for a solid 12 hours.

The quality and quantity forward gave spectators a feast of the full spectrum of plaited, native, cob and traditional horses and ponies. In fading light, Mathew Lawrence clinched the first championship of the 2011 Royal International Horse Show riding Zoe Bartlett’s LWS Artful.

For the second year running, the six-year-old won his plaited horse class and he went one better this time by taking the horse championship before claiming the overall coloured supreme.

“He is so versatile, as he loves showing, does dressage in the winter, and he pops a fence too,” said Mathew.

Taking the reserve supreme was Liz Wright’s home bred native Moortown Frilly, who claimed the pony championship for Vicki Myronidis.

After a successful career in-hand, this five-year-old, who is produced by Justine Armstrong-Small, has continued to fulfill all her early promise. The piebald mare has racked up an enviable tally of wins and tricolours this season, including reserve at the Hickstead Derby Meeting.

Also coming into the reckoning for the supreme title was Jo Bates, who rode Teresa Waters’s Shybont Navaho Girl to take the reserve horse accolade, and Glen Allen, who had the earliest start when riding Millond Look So Cheeky to win the first class of the day — the pair went on to claim the pony reserve.

Also topping their incredibly strong line-ups were Laura Rowe riding Kavanaghs American Beauty (large plaited pony), Sue Shuttleworth and Del Boy V (large native/cob/traditional), and Jayne Webber riding Carol Bardo and Mandy Hughes’s 2009 and 2010 champion The Humdinger (native/trad/cob).

Showing results: Tuesday 26 July
IndianTrail ridden coloured pony (Mrs J Williams, Mr R Ramsay) sml plaited. 1 & res pony, K Allen’s Millpond Look So Cheeky; 2, Mr & Mrs Woods Snaffi Bright Spark; 3, A Gresty’s Murphy XVI. native/trad. 1, ch pony & res supr, L Wright’s Moortown Frilly; 2, K & C Szostak’s Little Big Man IV; 3, Mr & Mrs Shuttleworths Heartbreaker. large plaited. 1, L Rowe’s Kavanaghs American Beauty; 2, A Cook’s Caris Lhee Showdown; 3, Pook & Burr’s Perriland Politician. large native/trad. 1, Mr & Mrs Shuttleworth’s Del Boy V; 2, Baileys Horse Feed’s Gallifrey; 3, K Hodgson’s Monivae Royal Doulton. §Indian Trail ridden coloured horse (Miss L Whitehall, Mr J Careless) lwt plaited. 1 & res horse, T Waters’s Shybont Navaho Girl; 2, H Patterson’s Shybont Bean Dance; 3, W Thorneycroft’s Wisteria Lane. do mwt/hwt. 1, ch horse & supre, Z Bartlett’s LWS Artful; 2, J Powell’s Jigsaw Jack; 3, Eades & Davies’s Shear Impulse. native/trad/cob. 1, Hughes & Bardo’s The Humdinger; 2, Beaverfast Ltd’s Gypsy Valentine; 3, H Boden’s Stoneholme Rockaway.