Heading to HOYS 2019: ‘I could see the quality through all the mud’ — Shetland goes from wild stallion to NEC finalist in 12 months

  • A Shetland pony stallion, who was bought unhandled out of the field just last year, has qualified for the Horse of the Year Show (HOYS) small breeds final in his first ridden season.

    Frankie Currell’s four-year-old Hestigarth Prolific (William) competed in his first ever HOYS qualifier at the National Pony Society (NPS) summer championships where he picked up his coveted ticket.

    William was sold as a weaned foal at the Aberdeen breed sale.

    Frankie notes that to get the ponies to the sale venue, the vendors would leave on Friday night on the NorthLink Ferries to take the 14-hour trip across the north sea. After arriving at the auction market, the ponies rest on Saturday before the show and sale take place on Sunday and Monday, respectively.

    “It’s lucky if the ponies can make the crossing as the sea can be very rough,” explains Frankie

    “I first spotted William in Penzance where he was living with Marion Mathews at the Zennor Shetland stud. Marion had purchased him as a future stud stallion, but when he got turned out with a mare she took one look at him and ran through three sets of fencing!”

    “I first saw William in the field in the middle of winter. He was a wild youngster but I could see the quality through the mud and thick winter coat. At the time, he was living on his own so he hadn’t had much handling and was semi-wild.”

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    Once he arrived back at Frankie’s yard, William was then backed and proved to have a fantastic temperament for the ridden job.

    Frankie continues: “We competed in a few winter shows and H&H even tipped him as a coloured pony to look out for during. We had a great week at the NPS summer championships, as we not only qualified for HOYS but also won the Shearwater and Picton finals.”

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