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Showing 2019 nostalgia: best of May — tearful qualifications, a trekking pony turned RIHS finalist and a winning comeback from a legendary duo

The month of May is always a busy one for the showing community, and while we can’t get out and about to any shows for the foreseeable due to the Coronavirus lockdown, H&H takes a look back at its May 2019 showing reports to bring you our favourite stories, most memorable quotes, stand out horses and some top tips…

Quotes that stuck…

“We know each other inside out” —  Imogen Trice on her hack Royal Engagement (Nemo), who was crowned supreme horse at BSPS Area 13A.

“Poppy loves this pony to bits. She has ridden him all the way through and he is the ideal ride to finish ponies on” — producer Katy Carter after watching daughter Poppy take the RIHS show pony title and members’ championship with Basford Black Prince at BSPS Area 2A.

“We’ve never been to the RIHS before, so I cried when we won”Sarah Paice when she led her daughter Florence and Dartmoor pony Falfield Bright Eyes to win their lead rein qualifier at BSPS Area 13B.

Stories we loved…

At the BSPS winter championships, the importance of pulling out all the stops in a championship was demonstrated when two working hunter pony class runners-up stood winter novice champion and reserve respectively. Emily Gaynor-Smith gained the top spot with 
her 153cm Rachan Westcountry Too ahead of Alasdair Prickett and his six-year-old intermediate runner-up Redshaw Out Of The Balou. “The championship is always a separate class and these two went the best,” said judge Pat Pattinson.

At Keysoe Spring show, Lady Caroline Tyrrell watched Allister Hood and her cob of a lifetime, Our Cashel Blue, take their RIHS ticket and cob championship. In September 2018, Blue was diagnosed with cancer after a lump appeared on his offside shoulder. He was operated on at the Royal Veterinary College at Potter’s Bar and, after a long recuperation, was given the 
all-clear. This was his return to the ring. “I feel very emotional,” said Allister.

A new name came to the fore in novice hunter ranks at Windsor, when debutant Harry Scanlan and Harry’s Hunter (pictured) headed the heavyweights and stood reserve. Harry bought the five-year-old 
pure-bred Irish Draught unbroken seven months before Windsor.  “This was only his third-ever show, so I’m thrilled with this result,” said Harry.

The chairman of Tattersalls clinched his first-ever RIHS ticket at South Suffolk show. Edmond Mahony, chairman of the oldest bloodstock auctioneers in the world, partnered his own DSL Jackaroo to win the working hunter qualifier. “I’m very much a weekend rider, so definitely an amateur,” said Edmond.

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Tips we took home…

In the BSHA Northern Spring Show report, we met show secretary and successful show horse competitor Sarah Carey. Her most successful exhibit has been the legendary hack Pearly King. “As a secretary I aim to have a good working relationship with the venue owner and a rapport with our generous sponsors,” said Sarah. “Competitors constantly ringing to ask starting times and numbers entered is a pet hate of mine. Also, seeing non-qualifying sections but nevertheless equally important novice and amateur classes poorly supported.”

The horses we wanted in our stables…

Paulette Cooper’s scopey working hunter MJM Laszlo started his stellar season with a bang, after securing a HOYS ticket and the final supreme honours at the Northern Ireland Showing Festival. The Classic Vision gelding had wintered with his owner Paulette and had followed the Quorn hounds with stable jockey Damian Curran before returning to Louise’s Kilkenny base five weeks before the show.

The Highland stallion Highland Chief Of Talisker (Junior) was champion at the first round of mountain and moorland (M&M) HOYS qualifiers at the NPS Spring Festival with his owner/rider Amber Thorpe. Junior went onto stand supreme M&M at the RIHS later in the season. “Junior isn’t a precious pony,” said Amber at the time. “We’ve done three shows so far this year and now have our RIHS qualifications and HOYS ticket.”

A traditional coloured pony purchased from a trekking centre won her first ever RIHS class at Devon county. Miss Amelia Rose, owned by Dawn Eggleton, was sent to rider Charlotte Harlow to prepare her for a ridden career.  “She came to me for schooling,” said Charlotte. “To go in her first qualifier and win was absolutely amazing.”

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