Among the many brilliant winners at the Hartpury winter classic show last weekend (14-16 December) was an eye-catching grey mare, ridden by Lisa Jones.
The super consistent 10-year-old Diana P was bought three years ago for just £2,000 and has recently stepped up to grand prix level.
“I bought her through Ann Bedford after her owner emigrated,” explained Lisa.
“She’d only done a few British novices, and I never dreamt she’d be this good. I just thought I might be able to sell her on for a bit of a profit.
“I’d never sell her now,” she added.
At Hartpury on Friday, Lisa rode Diana P, who is by Silverstone out of an Indoctro mare, to a searing clear, clinching a spectacular victory in the national 1.35m open. The pair held off the challenges from some strong rivals including second-placed Oliver Tuff on Darino B and William Funnell with his top horse, the Olympia-bound Billy Angelo, who finished third.
“When you ride her in a jump-off it’s like she’s walked the course, she’s always with you,” said Lisa. “I’ve never practised turns at home and she’s the only horse I know who jumped water without schooling — she always just says, ‘OK, I can do that’.”
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Lisa has taken an embryo off Dutch-bred Diana P and it is due in fourth months’ time.
“If it’s half as good as its mother I’ll be thrilled,” she said. “I keep going back to Ann Bedford saying, ‘Can I have another one like this for £2k please?’”
Don’t miss the full report from Hartpury’s winter classic — including the full story behind Laura Mantel’s grand prix comeback win with the great mare Glory BV — in this week’s Horse & Hound, out Thursday 20 December.