Set lines and four-wheel drive ponies: discover the thinking behind Royal Windsor’s M&M working hunter course

  • British Show Pony Society panel and British Showjumping level four course builder Lisa Kelly built the Mountain & Moorland (M&M) working hunter courses at Royal Windsor today (14 May).

    She explained what she considers when building working hunter courses.

    “Working hunter courses are built to encourage free flowing riding, without pre-set distances,” she told H&H.
    “With worker courses, you are looking to mimic criss-crossing fields as you would out hunting.”

    Lisa has been building courses for more than 10 years and this is her 11th time at Royal Windsor.

    She added as M&M ponies are naturally very clever and quick thinking, she can ask trickier questions of them than she can of the horses.

    “I describe ponies as four-wheel drive – ABS – and horses as two-wheel,” she said.

    “[Today’s course] was designed to be ridden on set lines, so if you missed the turn you were across the line and played into my hands.”

    The championship was won by Amy Smith on her own Laburnum Richard on their first visit to Royal Windsor, with Waitwith Westwind and Gemma Pallet taking reserve.

    “He is an amazing pony, I don’t think I could ever part with him and he owes me absolutely nothing,” said Amy. “I just love every bit about him.”

    Bought as a three-year-old, Amy said he “hates water”, but she forgives him as in every other way he is “amazing”.

    “It was an amazing course Lisa Kelly built – she always builds good tracks. It was full up to height, long winded with testing bits in between,” said Amy.

    “There was really good competition – we are amongst the best of the best here, everybody wants to come and win.

    “I’m glad I made the journey down today.”

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