11 mini eventing marvels that have defied their size

Sometimes size isn’t everything, as proved by these miniature eventing power houses who don’t seem to realise that they are a little smaller than the usual stamp of event horse.

Our Nobby

j bullen029

Height: 14.3 1/2hh
Achievements: Ridden by Jane Bullen (now Holderness-Roddam), Our Nobby began his glittering career with a win at the junior Pony Club Championships. Jane’s mother bought him for £120 with the hope that they could sell him on quite easily, but he developed a napping habit and he never left. The pair went on to win Badminton in 1968 and followed this up with a team gold medal at the Mexico Olympics where, aged 20, Jane became the first British woman to win a medal in the sport.

Theodore O’Connor

Theodore O'Connor

Height: 14.1 3/4hh
Achievements: “Teddy” was by the 16.2hh racehorse Witty Boy, out of a 13hh mare with 50% thoroughbred, 25% Arabian and 25% Shetland pony breeding. Teddy began his eventing career when he was six-years-old with Nicole Villers at preliminary level. Christan Trainor then took him to advanced and he finished eighth at his first CIC2*. Before Karen O’Connor took over the ride. Karen piloted Teddy around his first four-star at Rolex Kentucky in 2007 where they finished third. They followed this up with team and individual gold at the Pan American Games the same year. They returned to the Rolex Kentucky four-star in 2008 where they finished sixth. Unfortunately Teddy’s life was cut short after a freak accident at home just a month after Kentucky.

Little Tiger

81 Phoebe Buckley (GBR) LITTLE TIGER

Height: 14.3hh
Achievements: “Frosty” was a 7/8ths thoroughbred mare by Java Tiger. She began her eventing career with her owner, Dr Polly Taylor before her long-term rider Phoebe Buckley took over the reins. The pair were ninth at Blair Castle CCI3* in 2006, and completed Badminton the following year. Together Phoebe and Frosty completed six CCI4*s including Burghley and Luhmuhlen. The mare retired from eventing in 2011 and continued to enjoy hunting and team chasing until she died in 2013.

Forrest Nymph

Forrest Nymph

Credit: Jenni Autry

Height: 14.2hh
Achievements: This 14.2hh New Forest pony took the US eventing world by storm in 2014 and 2015. Lauren De Neve brought “Farrah” out at the lower levels before accomplished event rider Sinead Halpin took over the ride. Together the completed three CIC2*s and two CCI2*’s all clear cross-country. Farrah has now been retired from competition due to injury and her owners hope to breed from her.

Continued below…

Short Changed

Ellie Crosbie riding SHORT CHANGED in Adv Section S during Little Downham (2) at Ely Eventing Centre, near Ely in Cambridgeshire UK on 6th October 2014


Height: 15.1hh
Achievements: Bred by owner and rider Ellie Crosbie, this little horse by Fleetwater Opposition earnt his name when his breeders realised he wasn’t quite going to grow as tall as they hoped. Despite his size he has jumped clear around advanced and two-star tracks.

The Little Frenchman

Alice Goring on The Little Frenchman - No 875

Height: 15hh
Achievements: Originally produced by Elle Twentyman, young rider Alice Goring has brought this flashy little pocket rocket up through the grades to intermediate and CIC2* level.



Height: 15.2hh
Achievements: A prolific event horse for New Zealand, “Nugget” was seventh at the 2004 Athens Olympics with his rider Heelan Tompkins. Other notable results included winning the CCI3* at Puhinui in Auckland aged 19 in 2005, 17th at Badminton in 2003, fifth at Chatsworth CIC3* and second at Boekelo CCI3* both in 2002. Glengarrick’s final championships appearance was at the World Equestrian Games in Aachen in 2006, by which time he was 20-years-old. But he still recorded an outstanding result, taking seventh. He died in 2015, aged 29.

Patris Filius

Cross Country . Olivia Haddow and Patris Filius .

Height: 15.1hh
Achievements: Originally produced by Vicky Tuffs, Ailie Haddow took the diminutive gelding up to intermediate and CCI* level before her sister Olivia Haddow (now Wilmot) took over the reins. Together they represented Great Britain at two young rider European championships in 2004 and 2005 (where they scooped team gold), completed five CCI3*s and finished at Badminton in 2008. “Filius” ended his eventing career with a BE100open win back with Ailie in 2013.

Our Solo

Australian rider Bill Roycroft (1915 - 2011) riding 'Our Solo' in the cross country section of the team three-day eventing at the Rome Olympics, 9th September 1960. The Australian team won the gold medal, despite Roycroft falling in the cross country and fracturing his collarbone. (Photo by Central Press/Hulton Archive/Getty Images)

Height: 15hh
Achievements: Mount of the famous Australian event rider Bill Roycroft, this little horse won Badminton in 1960. Later that year, the duo played an instrumental part in securing team gold at the Mexico Olympics. Bill and Our Solo suffered a nasty fall on the cross-country but went on to finish the course before he was taken to hospital. Here it was discovered that Bill had broken his shoulder, suffered a dislocated collarbone and had concussion. Despite these injuries Bill discharged himself from hospital to help the team complete and win the competition the next day.

Lakevale Toyman

Lakevale Toyman
Height: 13.2hh
Achievements: ‘Tommy’ made history this year when he became the smallest pony to ever be entered into the CCI* at Melbourne three-day event (7-11 June). Ridden and owned by Australian Jackie Wright, the 14-year-old was originally bought as a companion, but he soon showed his aptitude for jumping and progressed up the levels. Together the pair have completed three international and seven national one-star events.

Wynara Bronze Medal

Height: 14.3hh
Achievements: Also competing in the CCI* at Melbourne, was Wynara Bronze Medal, who is owned and ridden by Danni Hampton. The 11-year-old gelding and 28-year-old Danni finished 44th out of 80 starters with a clear cross-country round. Danni said: “I am looking forward to a big future with this little guy as he definitely has more to give”.

This week’s pony special, out on 7 June, features Britain’s naughtiest ponies and how you can find the dream smaller equine. We also look at the pros and cons of equine treadmills, talk to showing producer Aimee Devane and have reports from the H&H Festival of Eventing, Tattersalls Horse Trials, racing at Epsom and much, much more.

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