17-year-old Connemara pony beats the horses to take championship ticket

  • A Connemara pony competing in horse classes – Fairfax Hot Tottie – headed the Heritage Insurance diamond qualifier at Vale View, Leics.

    Her rider Georgia Sims is the reigning champion in this class, having won at the Blue Chip championships with Cassina III the last time they ran in 2019, but brought out the 17-year-old mare on this occasion to claim a ticket.

    Georgia has owned the 148cm Connemara for six years and jumped up to 1.20m in ponies, switching her to horse classes two years ago when she turned 16.

    “My plan is to defend the title with her and Cassina, who I also had in the qualifier but she had a pole,” said Georgia, who is based in Leighton Buzzard. “I have four others in competition, so we’ll be aiming at a few more Blue Chip qualifiers with them.”

    Another Connemara was also collecting a red ribbon at Stainsby Grange Equestrian Centre in North Yorkshire last week, where the discovery qualifier was won by Charlotte Teague and Rickamore Barclay, who more usually competes in working hunter pony classes.

    The seven-year-old Connemara is in his first full season competing, and just missed qualifying for the workers at Horse of the Year Show this year. He is jumping in British Showjumping (BS) classes over the winter.

    “We bought him as a youngster but because of lockdowns we didn’t get him out until August this year and he went straight into open workers,” said Charlotte. “I’ll be doing a bit of BS with him until January, but then I am out of ponies.”

    While Charlotte won’t get to contest the Blue Chip Championships in 2022, she plans to carry on competing the pony in workers and plaited under-15hh mountain and moorland classes.

    “We’ll hopefully do some horse classes showjumping as well,” she added.

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