‘She’s so beautiful’: girl power prevails in HOYS coloured horse and pony championship

  • Mares dominated in the Coloured Horse and Pony of the Year championship sponsored by CHAPS (UK) on the final day of the Horse of the Year Show (HOYS). The stand-out queen of the ring was Stephanie Fitt’s home-bred seven-year-old plaited pony Castra (Cassie), piloted by Rhianon Loader.

    Earlier that day the pair had advanced on the second place they’d achieved in the non-native pony of the year final 12 months ago.

    Cassie is by popular late stallion Strinesdale Matador and out of prolific ridden champion Fairfax C. She is produced Elliee Stunt and she is in her second ridden season.

    She began her career shown in-hand by Philip Ward-Burton and she was backed by Caron Roberts.

    The mare has now done the double, as she was crowned pony supreme and overall reserve coloured horse at the Royal International Horse Show (RIHS) in July. Her dam was also champion at Hickstead during her ridden career.

    “We had a great year last year, but to come and do one better is incredible,” said Rhianon, after her class win. “She’s such an easy pony and she’s such an incredible ride. She’s so beautiful and feminine. She’s just lovely.”

    This victory marked Elliee’s first HOYS championship win, and the cherry on top was that the previous day Elliee had finished second in the part-bred final riding Cassie’s full sister, Cleapatra, who is also still owned by her breeder Stephanie.

    “We’ve had a couple of reserve champions here before, but never an overall title,” Elliee said. “Cassie is the safest pony and at home all the children sit on her; she’s so cool. She’s so educated, too, which means she can really deliver when she’s in an atmosphere.”

    Lucy Cameron’s six-year-old KBF Lucia retained her non-native horse title before clinching section reserve, under Jayne Ross.

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