Tales from Hickstead: Five-year-old follows in mother’s footsteps at Royal International

  • FIVE-year-old Arthur ‘Arty’ Cayzer is following in his mother Anna Cayzer’s footsteps by heading to the Royal International Horse Show (RIHS), 22 years after Anna last competed at the show.

    Arty has qualified for the lead rein show hunter pony on veteran skewbald hunting pony Firle Running Wolf, and the open M&M lead rein final on palomino Cosford Flotation. Both ponies are home-produced.

    “I used to ride and last rode at Hickstead in 1999 on a 15hh working hunter pony,” said Anna. “When Arthur was three, we won the home-produced lead rein at the BSPS summer champs and then did nothing last year due to covid.

    “I then bought him two ponies at Christmas in 2020 – one was Cosford Flotation, aka Bingo, a just-backed four-year-old, now five, bred by Paul Brightwell. We took him to Area 13B at Chard and he was first and champion in the RIHS mini heritage qualifier. I couldn’t believe it because we’d only taken him for the experience and he got us a ticket!”

    Arty’s other pony is 15-year-old Pony Club and hunting pony Firle Running Wolf, aka Wolfy.

    “He is the perfect all-rounder and has done everything other than showing,” said Anna. “We took him to a showing clinic and we were advised to show him, so I entered him for BSPS Area 14 in the lead rein hunter pony and he was second to a pony that had already qualified, so we got a second ticket.”

    Anna is a working mother and juggles producing the ponies herself, although she has support from her family.

    “It’s a real family affair as my mum helps me look after my daughter whilst I lead, and my sister helps me plait,” added Anna. “I’m just glad the M&M doesn’t need plaiting as I can’t even sew name tapes on the children’s school clothes!

    “It’s hard work hard keeping the ponies going alongside a family and job, so when things like this happens, it makes it worthwhile. This time last year, one pony was unbroken and the other had only ever been to Pony Club camp so it feels like a great achievement. It will be my first trip back to Hickstead since 1999 and I can’t wait to lead my son around the same ring.”

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