A full summer showing season stretches out in front of us, and here are a selection of horses and ponies who have already made their mark on 2017 on the winter circuit.
King Of The North
This working six-year-old CHAPS-graded stallion had been in producer Megan Hewitt’s yard five weeks when he stood in hand champion at the North Yorkshire Showcase of Champions (29 January). The recently backed Beverley Walsh-owned coloured also won his mixed height novice class, on what was his debut under saddle.
“He has exceeded all expectations,” said Megan. “The main aim is a quiet novice season and to get him graded under saddle with the BSPA in March.”
Ten-year-old Faith Bruno-Page was in the saddle of this 10-year-old grey who won his novice 122cm class and stood mini Heritage champion and reserve novice champion at the BSPS Wales Working Hunter Show (12 February).
This is Faith’s first BSPS season and she was making her working hunter debut on Mascot, whom her family found at a dealer’s yard three years ago.
Olivia Bowen finished in the prizes on two mounts at BSPS Wales. Radar Knight (pictured) stood novice plaited 15hh working hunter pony winner and overall champion.
Stablemate Eachreidh’s haul includes heading his 143cm class. Both horses have been hunting and showjumping over the winter and this is their debut season in the show ring.
Seven-year-old Chloe Nicklin piloted this section A gelding to stand novice first ridden winner for her grandmother, Sue Nicklin, at North Yorkshire Showcase. The nine-year-old has been with the family for three years and is an all-rounder. Chloe aims to take him hunting next winter with her uncle, James, a huntsman for the Meynell and South Staffordshire.
Sisters Morgan and Jessica Summers presented this six-year-old Swedish-bred gelding at NCPA Staffordshire Branch Winter Festival (5 February). The section A stood Ponies (UK) Brineton lead-rein winner and mini champion for the their mother, Helen.
“He’s a great pony who jumps really well. The aim is lead-rein, tiny tots and working hunter pony classes,” said Morgan, who leads her four-year-old sister.
Becki Penny partnered this five-year-old Connemara stallion for producer Sarah Parker, who bought the grey by Currachmore Cashel in Ireland, unbroken, six months ago. He stood Heritage M&M open restricted champion and headed his breed class at NCPA Staffordshire.
Sharon Watts’ 10-year-old won the first pony of show and show hunter type before standing BSPS champion at North Yorkshire Showcase, ridden by her daughter Roberta, nine.
“Roberta has only just taken over the reins from her older sister Sienna and this was a great rookie run,” said Sharon. “Roberta’s goal is to ride off the lead rein soon.”
This mixed breed stallion winner and in hand champion at NCPA Staffordshire was bought by Liz Hampson as a yearling. The nine-year-old section A has been used at stud and handler Hannah Horton has had him to produce for two years.
At NCPA Staffordshire, this six-year-old Highland owned and ridden by Elizabeth Etchells finished second to Sarah Parker and Castle Hill Jack Daniels in the Heritage novice Fells, Dales and Highland class, before standing overall reserve.
Emma Boardman’s six-year-old was making his show ring debut at North Yorkshire Showcase, where he won the mixed height novice show pony class with Ellie Kirkbride.
Pontoon’s sire, Lindeth Quandary, won the equivalent novice and restricted show hunter pony classes, ridden by Olivia Maltby.
Quandary is one of Emma’s home-breds by Botingelle Swansong and out of her show hack Yealand Quintessence. He was gelded in December in order to pursue a career under saddle.
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Vennobos Pearly King
First ridden and plaited mini champion with Soffia Cynwyl, 11, at BSPS Wales, ‘Spartie’ is a 12-year-old Welsh section A by Heniarth Quinnell. He and Soffia were contesting their first working hunter class after switching from flat classes.
Newoak Falling Free
Holly Shotton, five, and this Dartmoor by Shilstone Rocks Days Of Fury headed the novice lead-rein class and stood mini novice champion at BSPS Wales. The mare, who is owned by Nicky Holford, was handled by Michaela Hunt and this was Holly’s first show.
Don’t miss the full winter round-up in the 9 March issue of Horse & Hound, on sale now, and next week’s showing special, on sale Thursday 16 March.