With the 2022 show season just around the corner, check out these amateur riders and their home-produced horses and ponies who are looking to achieve in the ring:
Nympsfield Miss Indi Pendant
Michelle Thomas enjoyed a fun filled 2021 season with her four-year-old coloured mare, who is a half-sister to the former Royal International (RIHS) supreme Brickell Mr Pickwick.
Their tally included winning the novice final at the Coloured Horse and Pony Society (CHAPS) championships.
“Our aim this year is to qualify for the SEIB Search For A Star (SFAS) finals and also try some open coloured qualifiers, too,” says Michelle.
Despite being 20 years old, the Welsh cob mare is set to make her debut in veteran and Welsh in-hand and ridden classes with Annabel Leather.
“I bought her at the start of the first lockdown for £450 as a broodmare,” said Annabel. “She’s bred six foals, but I knew she had potential as a ridden as her mileage was so low. She is exactly what I look for in a welsh cob.
The six-year-old 153cm thoroughbred gelding will be juggling Retraining of Racehorse (RoR) and hack classes. His owner Sophie Wilson became pregnant half way through last season so the pair are gearing up for a busier 2022.
“Our baby is due in February so I’m hoping to be back on board not too long after,” says Sophie. “Our aim for this season is the SFAS classes and as it’s my last year in intermediates I’d also love to see how we do in the Pretty Polly classes.”
NHS worker Nicola Tarnawski will be juggling her work commitments with home-producing her rising four-year-old Connemara, who she bought as a two-year-old in June 2020. “Conor” is the first horse that Nicola has backed herself.
“Conor is a kind boy and has been a dream to handle and back,” says Nicola. “He’s just been brought back into work after four months of rest and has come back with a great attitude.”
Cwmafon David’s Last
The Welsh section D gelding — known as Floppers — was bought by Zoe Ainsworth, a full-time ward sister in Cornwall’s only acute hospital, from Wyn Morris in April 2021.
“Floppers had a very lazy summer of hacking and I aim to get him out and about on the novice show circuit this year,” says Zoe, who formerly rode a heavyweight hunter and narrowly missed out on a HOYS ticket. “It’s been a hectic year juggling work, buying my first big horse lorry and also having open abdomen surgery. Fingers crossed 2022 can be a fun filled season of good results, but also a fab time with good friends.”
Katie Gibbins’ home-bred, home-produced four-year-old will be commencing her ridden showing career this year. Ridden by Katie and bred by her parents Susan and Simon Gibbins, the mare by Cos Me Is Black out of Vale View Golden Girl will be aimed at novice intermediate and small hunter classes.
“She has a fantastic character and has proven to be very trainable,” says Katie. “She is certainly a family horse with her loveable attitude.”
Hillgarth I’m Your Huckleberry
Erin McCartan bought her six-year-old Welsh section C gelding “Finn” in 2019 as a lightly backed project, and after enjoying beach rides, hacking, cross-country, showjumping and some showing, she’s aiming to get him qualified for the SFAS finals as well as the young rider and amateur series at the RIHS.
“My non-horsey partner has also taken him out showing in hand, where they’ve won breed classes and championships,” says Erin.
The Spartan King
The five-year-old coloured gelding, who is registered with the Traditional Gypsy Cob Association (TGCA), will be aimed at the SFAS series by his amateur owner Diane Lodowski. The 14hh gelding has been backed for just over six months and is already scoring over 70% in dressage.
“He’s a real head turner thanks to his unusual colour,” says Diane.
Penlanganol Mr Tom
Kerry Finch’s eight-year-old coloured part-bred “Tom” was purchased from a dealer 12 months ago as a project and has since excelled in various disciplines including showjumping, eventing, arena eventing and British Dressage Quest competitions.
“He looked a little unkempt when I first saw him but I could tell he was a diamond in the rough,” says Kerry. “‘Showing is not something I ever thought I would want to do, but we’re looking forward to giving it a go. My aim is to qualify for the STARS championship and to give working hunter classes a go.”
Southway Vision In Gold
Lucy Sentance’s six-year-old Welsh section D mare will be making her debut under saddle. “Patience” was bought as a two-year-old in 2018 straight from the field.
“Due to Covid, a house move and Patience contracting strangles in 2020, we’ve had some setbacks,” says Lucy. “We were off the lunge in January 2021 and we managed to get to some in-hand shows, too. We are currently out competing in prelim dressage and showing wise, we’re aiming for West Wilts in March, Bath and West in June and Dorset County in September.
“I have backed and trained her myself, and I am lucky enough to have amazing yard owners and instructors helping us on our journey.”
Seven-year-old Clydesdale/Selle Francais “Adam” will commence his first affiliated show season with his new owner Summer Williams, after a successful introduction to the show ring by Matt Cadman. The pair will be aiming for amateur classes as well as making use of Adam’s big jump in working show horse classes.
After winning the SEIB SFAS riding horse final at Horse of the Year Show (HOYS) in 2021, Jordan Meakins will be bringing her gelding forward as an amateur and open riding horse.
“He’s evented up to novice level and is now stepping up to be a successful show horse,” says Jordan. “He was only shown three times before he qualified for HOYS. I’m very excited about him and we’re currently gearing up for our first RIHS qualifier in March.”
“Brian”, as he’s known at home, came to Emily Cook from Shovelstrode Racing Stables during the summer and the duo have spent the winter training in both dressage and jumping. Emily will be aiming at both the ROR and SFAS series.
“Brian has excelled and shown he can turn his hoof to anything,” says Emily.
Hwylog Fire Light
Karen Badrick will be aiming her six-year-old Welsh section D gelding by Hwylog Amarni at the novice ridden circuit as well as the SFAS qualifiers.
“I bought him as an unhandled six-month-old foal,” says Karen. “He has won many championships in-hand at local level, also qualifying for STARS in 2018.”
Voodoo Blue Barritz
Home-producer Bethany Hitchings and her 13-year-old 16.2hh sports horse will be aiming for show hunter classes during 2022, after taking on their first ever showing classes at the end of last season.
“We even managed to come away with a win and a second,” says Bethany.
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