Tales from Hickstead: Veteran driving pony turns his hoof to in-hand showing at the Royal International

  • DANIELLE TWITCHEN’s former driving pony Welsh section C Bronheulog Principle, is enjoying a change of sport and has qualified for his first ever Royal International Horse Show (RIHS) at the ripe age of 31. The gelding made the swap to in-hand showing at the end of 2019 and qualified for the RIHS on his first attempt last year.

    “He’s been a carriage driving pony all his life and has been with me for 26 years,” said Danielle. “We attended our first ever Senior Horse Showing and Dressage Ltd (SSADL) qualifier and went champion in-hand to qualify for RIHS. It was a bit stressful as we qualified at the one and only show in 2020, so were really thankful that our ticket was carried over to this year.”

    Danielle bought Danny, as Bronheulog Principle is known at home, when she was a junior whip.

    “All he knew was driving trials,” she said. “I drove him in a single, tandem and teams, and he took me abroad to compete internationally. He only does a tiny bit of riding for exercise, but he is quite spicy under saddle and thinks he’s still three. He’s very cheeky and rules us all. He’s definitely the golden child in our family.”

    Danielle’s daughter Sophia also qualified for the Heritage M&M open at her first ever RIHS with 10-year-old Dartmoor Kingshaugh Jocasta, aka Jojo.

    “She was a little angel, and although she wasn’t placed, she had a lovely time and behaved impeccably,” said Danielle of Jojo. “We’ve had her since she was three and this is her first real season going out competing properly. We’ve just bought Sophia an unbroken Welsh sec D which will hopefully be her next pony.”

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