Road to HOYS: Is this roan Welsh pony with a ‘cheeky streak’ one of the show’s most versatile contenders?

  • Arguably one of the most all-round and multi-talented show ponies on the show circuit is heading back to Horse of the Year Show (HOYS) for the sixth year with his home-producing family.

    Pippa Kirby is the mother of sisters Indy, 12, and Izzy, 15, who have both ridden the roan Welsh section A gelding Thistledown Fun Fair (Freddie) at HOYS since he was bought in 2014 from Sharn Linney.

    “I’d always wanted a roan pony and made the decision to have him as soon as we saw him,” explains Pippa.

    This year, 12-year-old Freddie is heading to HOYS as both a mountain and moorland (M&M) first ridden and as an open Welsh section A, but has previously qualified as a lead rein of hunter type and an M&M working hunter pony.

    “Indy first rode him at HOYS when she was five, and now she’s taking him back, aged 12, for her last spin in the first ridden class,” Pippa adds. “Freddie is just the best and his versatility is unique; he’ll be jumping in the cradle stakes one week and then winning an open ridden class the next.

    “He’s got many strings to his bow and has served both girls so well. He’s definitely got a funny side and he is well known to throw in a cheeky buck when excited; he’s taught both girls to sit very tight.”

    Freddie enjoying himself out with the Bedale at the hunt’s children’s meet

    Freddie has also turned his hoof to arena eventing, pony club games, camp and the NSEA school championships.

    “He’s the best hunting pony, too, and goes up the gallops at home with the racehorses,” says Pippa. “He has also won the BSPS cradle stakes championship with both girls. He’s a part of the family and will never be sold. I don’t think there are many like him.”

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