With the Royal International Horse Show (RIHS) just around the corner (23-28 July), we meet five riders who will be heading to Hickstead for the first time…
1. Millie Olds and Santa Cruz II
“I compete my horse Santa Cruz II (Chester) as an intermediate show hunter. We are a small home produced show team that consists of myself, my sister, Sophie and my mum, Hannah.
“We qualified for the Pretty Polly intermediate class at BSPS Area 11. I’ve been with Chester for nearly three showing seasons and this is our first year of competing in BSPS classes.
“We live on a smallholding right up on the west of Penwith Moor, so all of my schooling is done in our field, on the road or on the moor. I have a great partnership with Chester and I worship the ground that he walks on.
“We are delighted to be competing at the RIHS this year. We will be taking in the atmosphere, enjoying ourselves and just seeing what it’s all about.”
2. Amesbury Valentino and Pheonix Dene
“My daughter qualified her home-produced show pony for the open lead-rein final at BSPS Wales, where they also went on to take reserve mini champion.
“Eleven-year-old Valentino was the Amesbury Stud’s stallion until late last year. He has produced some very successful progeny which have gone on to qualify for both HOYS and RIHS under saddle.
“Valentino came to us for the current season and had only done two other shows before his qualifier. He scored an excellent ride mark of 45/50.
“Phoenix, aged eight, has worked tirelessly with him. We are totally home produced and I work as a midwife by day. Showing is a complete team effort and it takes work to ensure the ponies and their jockey are up to scratch. We are so looking forward to the RIHS.”
3. Fernville Malita and Charl Turner
“I have qualified my Connemara mare Malita for the Pretty Polly mixed breeds final at Hickstead.
“This will be mine and her first time there and it’s been a long time coming and a dream I thought we’d never make happen.
“She qualified at BSBS Area 6 on her second attempt in a large class of lovely ponies. It was a huge shock and it took a few days to sink in.
“I’ve had her since she was a two-year-old and I actually bought her from a photo taken in Ireland. I have backed and brought her on myself and produce her from home.
“Thanks to my husband, I can now take her to shows as on my 30th birthday he bought me my first trailer.
“My husband drives us as to events and is also the designated ring groom. Malita is a real sweetheart and is a huge part of our family.”
4. Barlendew Sunrise and Lily Williams
“Lily qualified her lead-rein show hunter pony at North of England. It will be Lily and Sunny’s first time at Hickstead.
“He is beautifully produced by The Jinks Show Team and is led by Adam Forster.
“Sunny is a 10-year-old Welsh section B and we’ve owned him for two years.
“Lily has had lots of fun on him and he will be doing open 122cm classes next year. Our goal is to now qualify for HOYS.
“Lily is very excited for her first ride at the final.”
5. Chantelle Chapman and Greenholme Falcon
“My daughter Chantelle, aged 14, qualified her Fell pony Greenholme Falcon for the RIHS young riders final at the Ponies UK Spring Classic.
“Last year they stood champion in the first SEIB Search for a Star ridden mountain and moorland final.
“This year, they were also RIHS young rider champion at the BSPS winter championships which was a massive achievement as there were many pre-qualified ponies in the class.
“They were also was placed second at BSPS Area 4B in a strong open ridden class full of adults and professionals and they were one mark off winning.
“Chantelle has also gained a ride in the small breeds on the Dartmoor pony Vean Night Owl. Chantelle has been working hard with him and qualified him first time out.
“She is very excited about the RIHS as it’s her first time competing there. She is so committed and the effort she puts in with the horses makes me very proud of her. It just shows that with commitment, effort and lots of hard work that anyone can achieve good results.”
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