A married couple who met while stewarding, a “stalwart” volunteer and an event rider were among those recognised at the 2020 British Show Pony Society (BSPS) awards.
BSPS council member, judge, steward and show director Sharon Thomas won the outstanding personality of the year award, as she “always makes showing fun and enjoyable for members,” said BSPS vice-chair Paul Cook.
Former BSPS area 6 chairman Mary Allison, also a panel judge and steward, was given a long service award, in recognition of her service to the equestrian world as well as BSPS. Ms Thomas said: “She is one of our many stalwart volunteers; always there whatever the weather, with a smile.”
A second long service award went to Tony and Allison Georgakis. The couple met while stewarding at the BSPS championships 20 years ago.
The stars of the future award went to Hayden Hankey and Jasean Spraggett.
Hayden enjoyed long success as a pony rider, and won the working hunter championship at Horse of the Year Show (HOYS) On Heads Up last year, but has moved on to eventing and producing young horses. Jasean, who won the 2019 HOYS lightweight show hunter title on Noble Queen Bee, was also a successful pony rider, who now trains working hunters.
“We are always extremely proud of our young people and these two successful riders prove that the BSPS is a great stepping stone for a wider career in equestrianism and we look forward to following their progress,” Ms Thomas said.
Chloe Lemieux and Coco Bongo took the outstanding achievement award, after a successful year in which they won the 133cm HOYS working hunter pony championship, following this up with the working hunter pony title and then standing HOYS supreme pony, the first time a working hunter pony has taken this title.
The outstanding pony and producer award went to Rotherwood Rainmaker and Katy Carter. Ms Carter, who took titles and championships at HOYS, Olympia and the Royal International Horse Show, has produced 27 HOYS winners and five RIHS supreme champions to date. These include Rotherwood Rainmaker, who was RIHS supreme champion twice and spent his showing career with Ms Carter until his retirement last year.
“Katy has taken so many children and ponies to the top and is especially known for buying unbroken youngsters and bringing them on with help from her father Rod, taking them forward to win at the very highest levels,” Ms Thomas said.
Ruby Ward, Alice Cowie, Suzie Eddis and Daniella Johnston were honoured as the winning team from the working hunter pony international team event at the David Broome Centre, Chepstow, last August.
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