She’s the reigning Olympia champion and she scooped her first ridden Horse of the Year Show (HOYS) title last year. Leading pony producer Katy Marriott-Payne shows H&H around her “ponies in the garden affair” — the cosy Northamptonshire yard that turns ponies into winners.
1. The yard
Katy is based in Northamptonshire and her parents used to run a market garden on the yard. Now all stables are filled with ponies — in fact, there are more ponies than stables, so some live out. Katy expects to show 24 this season.
2. The land
The reigning Olympia Heritage champion, Tonwen Hughes’ Welsh section A stallion Uphill James Fox, enjoys some turnout time. Katy has three acres around her Northamptonshire yard and rents a further 10 acres nearby.
3. Championship mementoes
Katy’s HOYS plaques have pride of place on a yard wall. She has headed the section B class at HOYS for the last three years and netted her first ridden championship there in 2016, winning aboard Yvonne Davies’ Cadlanvalley Buzby
4. The house
Katy’s home, where she lives with her husband Rob and 10-year-old son Thomas, is a two-minute walk from the yard.
5. The arena
There is a 20x40m outdoor arena, where Katy schools her native ponies and teaches. Pictured is Katy teaching Alice Tomlinson, who has worked for Katy for three years, on the section A Rhesfair The Don.
6. Schooling sessions
Katy schools Woodrow March Past, a recently arrived New Forest stallion belonging to Sam Woolerton. The pony was previously with Paul Armitage, who showed him in-hand.
7. Happy hacking
Steph Britain hacks out Clandon Precious with Alice Tomlinson on Grahamsley Crackerjack. There is good local hacking around the yard, and all ponies go out regularly as part of a varied workload. Happy ponies perform better in the show ring, says Katy.
8. Keeping on top of office work
Katy does all the admin herself. After dropping Thomas at school, Katy sits down to do entries, paper work and speak to owners before going out on to the yard.
9. Fitness matters
Katy likes to keep fit. She does Pilates on a Thursday evening and also cycles — she once completed a bike race from London to Paris, raising money for charity in the process.
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10. Thomas’ goals
Thomas schools Cadlanvalley Sandpiper, the six-time Olympia finalist with whom he is aiming at junior classes this season. Thomas will also campaign Powys Jack Flash in first ridden classes.
11. Katy’s one to watch
Colne Tiger Bay has joined Katy’s yard after being successfully shown in-hand by Sam Morsley, with whom he qualified for the Cuddy in-hand final in 2015 and 2016. The section A was home-bred by his owner Ann Overton-Ablitt and begins his showing career under saddle with Katy this term.
Don’t miss the full interview with Katy and much more in H&H’s showing special issue (16 March), on sale now