For the connections of one cheeky Welsh section D stallion, their hopes of qualifying for the 2018 Olympia International Horse Show were nearly dashed when the pony dramatically threw a shoe the night before his big competition.

The successful Welsh cob Menai Eurostar (GB), who is owned by Karen Johnson and based with his producer Clare Fitch at her yard in Hereford, was all set to compete in the direct Olympia qualifier at the British Show Pony Society (BSPS) summer championships. But the stallion managed to remove a piece of his metal footwear in the stable the night before he was due to leave for the show.

“We are very superstitious as a show team,” said Karen, who has owned the dun cob since he was a weanling. “The night before the show I kept saying to Clare that I had a feeling GB was going to lose a shoe, and low and behold on the morning of the show we went into the stable to find him with only three shoes on — I thought it must be a sign that we shouldn’t go.

“We had to make a ridiculously early morning emergency call to my husband Richard, who is a farrier. This enabled us to get on the road, albeit a tad late.

“It was a mad rush when we got there, but he was on song and gave a beautiful performance. He won a strong class before heading a wonderful championship with a super gallop.”

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Karen continued: “It was a dream come true to qualify for Olympia in a championship position at a direct qualifier, especially at such a prestigious show as the BSPS summer championships.

“We are so excited to be going to Olympia to represent the breed again. It’s such a lovely atmosphere and an absolute honour to be able to compete.”

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