The cream of Britain’s junior show jumpers was on show at this year’s Pony of the Year Show

This year’s Pony of the Year Show (POYS) at Towerlands EC, Essex, was an outstanding success, with the show being filled to capacity within five days of the schedules being released.

Hannah Paul and Mister Amontilano claimed the 148 grand prix championship, taking the title from Martha Beaumont and Colton Maelstrom, who have held it for the past two years.

Hannah walked away with £2,000 from the Electricity Direct-sponsored 148cm Grand Prix after having benefited from some last-minute advice from Billy Twomey, who has a two-year sponsorship deal with Electricity Direct and came to present the prizes.

He told her not to rush, to wait and hold, go clear and let the others chase her. These were perfect instructions and Hannah claimed the class.

I was so nervous that I felt sick,” admitted Hannah afterwards.

Emma-Jane Moore was second with Okehurst Showman. Martha Beaumont on Colton Maelstrom surprised many when they had a run out at the fifth fence.

In the Talentspotters grand prix, Gemma Plumley and Prince Khan snatched the lead from standard-setters Kirsty Forsyth and Airforce One, who jumped the only other treble clear.

Not to be outdone, Gemma’s younger sister Danika shared the glory, taking second and third places in the 128cm grand prix on My Little Tinker and Show Me Heaven. Louise Saywell and Juliet Doostdar’s Skibbereen Girl, already winners of the small grand prix, came out on top.

The 138cm grand prix winner was Coral Mowbray, from Penrith inCumbria, in her first year with Lakeland Little Cracker. Second place went Georgie Spence and Mars Kyfe Jake.

In the JC grand prix, local rider Hanna Penny enjoyed a win on her talented grey, Blue Amber beating Grace Teal and Emerald Reward in the jump-off.

The novice grand prix winners, Lauren Fitch and The Triple Echo, were also in a class of their own and jumped the sole clear in a five-pony final round.

The 11 and under section was very competitive and 52 youngsters contested the grand prix. Claire Bailey gained a well-deserved win and looked a true champion on her grandfather’s Youngs Highland Robbie. Claire also took theleading rider award.

In the small grand prix, Lance Whitehouse captured the Talentspotters on Desert Queen. Nicole Pavitt recorded her best win to date on Christine Mady’s My Gizmo winning the 138cm, and the final class of the show, the novice small grand prix, went to Jamie Newnham and Tick Tock Tiger.

Daniel Neilson’s good rapport with Sligo Lucky enabled him to take the 128cm leading rider award.

Read the full report in this week’s show jumping special issue of Horse & Hound (11 April 2002), or click here to subscribe and enjoy the magazine delivered to your door every week.