Tales from Hickstead: Dartmoor pony makes owner’s Royal International dreams come true

  • AFTER seven years of attempting to qualify for the Royal International Horse Show (RIHS), Gemma Beck and her 13-year-old daughter Delilah are now en route with their Dartmoor pony Kingshaugh Eclipse, aka Elsie.

    “We are delighted to be heading to the final with Delilah’s best friend Elsie after Vicky Casey qualified her at the BSPS winter champs in the open Dartmoor/Exmoor/Shetland class,” said Gemma.

    “Delilah and I have been dreaming of qualifying for the RIHS for several years – she has been competing since the age of six and it’s been her aim since then. We’ve been close, but not quite close enough – thankfully we continued to try!”

    Elsie was bred by Gemma’s friends Jane and Allan Brown and began her ridden career with Anna Bereford before finding her way back to Gemma in November last year.

    “She is one of those ponies who was just meant to be,” added Gemma. “After a year with Anna, she was sold to a family in Cornwall, who contacted us when they were going to sell her. We bought her all the way back to Nottingham unseen.

    “Delilah and Elsie have developed such a lovely partnership and Delilah simply can’t wait to ride her at her first RIHS.”

    Gemma previously owned Elsie’s son Kingshaugh Northern Lights. She puts their success down to help from close friends.

    “It is lovely how everyone is still involved with her – Anna gives Delilah lessons and Jane and Allan have three horses at the show this year, so we’ll all be there together,” said Gemma. “Teamwork has made the dreamwork.”

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