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Size isn’t everything: meet the 12hh hairy pony bought for £100 and is landing supremes in the show ring

When her mother showed her an online advert for small and hairy two-year-old pony, Rachel Leek admitted she wasn’t instantly sure if she could see much show potential. However, it soon became apparant that the versatile traditional, The Tramp — who stands at just a shade under 12hh — would prove that size is definitely not essential when you have both conformational and star quality.

The now seven-year-old ‘Barry’ — as he is known at home — recently took the in-hand supreme accolade at the BSPA Festival of Showing and Winter Championships (23 February).

Handled by Rachel’s partner Aaron Calver, Barry is completely home-produced and also contends ridden classes with Rachel in the saddle — she rode him to take the amateur/home-produced championship just before his supreme success.

“My mum, Mandy, had been looking for a mini traditional for about two years and she instantly knew Barry was the one when she saw him,” explains Rachel. “I wasn’t so convinced he’d be good enough for the show ring but mum has proved she’s got an eye for a diamond in the rough.”

After a viewing, Barry was then purchased by Mandy for the sum of £100. Barry has since notched up a host of top results, both in-hand and under saddle. Last season he won both his in-hand classes at Royal Norfolk and Royal Three Counties.

“I take the ride in the ring and Aaron shows him in-hand,” continues Rachel. “He’s only ever been shown by the family and at home he is just a saint. My son also rides him in lead-rein, show jumping and fancy dress classes.”

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Reserve for the supreme title was another mini traditional, the three-year-old The Beswick Boy, who stands at just under 11hh. Owned by Paula Hughes, the young colt was crowned youngstock supreme with Sid Proudfoot leading.

Don’t miss the full report from the BSPA Winter Championships in this week’s issue (5 March). 

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