Watch tiny rescue pony prepare for Burghley Horse Trials debut #BurghleyPony

  • All eyes will be on the Land Rover Burghley Horse Trials this weekend (31 August-3 September 2017) as the world's best eventers tackle the famous four-star. But there will be one, slightly unusual, equine star in the mix. Meet World Horse Welfare Pamela...

    The pony: World Horse Welfare Pamela

    Standing at just 8.3hh, Pamela isn’t your average four-star eventer. And her start in life wasn’t straightforward either. In April 2014, World Horse Welfare Field Officer Jacko Jackson was alerted to a group of Shetlands in trouble and upon arriving at the location he found six ponies all suffering badly from laminitis. Working with the RSPCA, all ponies were removed to safety where they could begin treatment and rehabilitation. Thanks to the hard work of the World Horse Welfare team (Horse & Hound‘s charity of the year for 2017), Pamela’s future looks bright — and she’s stepped up to the challenge of working with some of the equestrian world’s biggest names as she prepares for her first four-star…

    The rider: AP McCoy

    “I’m really looking forward to coming out of retirement and trying my hand at another equine sport,” says the champion jockey. “I don’t have much experience on the flat so the dressage might be a little problem, but I’m very lucky that I have a very good mount in Pamela.”

    Dressage: Carl Hester

    “The dressage in eventing is quite difficult, especially at Burghley,” says dressage Olympian Carl Hester.“We have half-passes, extended trot, collected trot and the flying changes, so it’s been a real honour for me to bring this partnership together. And I think the judges are going to have quite a shock…”

    Cross-country: Mark Todd

    “To be honest I was quite surprised when I first saw her,” says five-time Burghley winner Mark Todd. “She’s not what you’d first expect in an event horse. You don’t see many palomino eventers, and I certainly don’t remember seeing any go around Burghley recently.”

    Showjumping: Tim Stockdale

    “Her strengths are very simple,” says Tim Stockdale. “She has a low centre of gravity, and therefore when it comes to turns in the showjumping arena it’s very easy for her. She’s very nimble.”

    Fitness and mental preparation: Yogi Breisner

    “We have got a game plan,” coach Yogi Breisner tells Pamela. “You know what you need to do when you get to Burghley. If you keep to the plan and keep your concentration, you will be absolutely fine.”

    Are you heading to Burghley this weekend (31 August-3 September)? Make sure you visit the “celebrity talk area” where you can meet Pamela

    Don’t miss our exclusive form guide to the Land Rover Burghley Horse Trials in tomorrow’s issue of Horse & Hound magazine (31 August 2017), and our full report in the 7 September 2017 issue

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