Let’s hear it for the chestnut mares: ‘Quirky and feisty’ Windsor winner follows in her sister’s footsteps

  • A year after Sally Goding completed back-to-back wins in Royal Windsor Horse Show’s 1.40m with home-bred Spring Willow, the West Sussex showjumper completed a victorious treble, this time riding the chestnut mare’s full-sister Red Head to land the opening class at this year’s show.

    The stylish duo topped a mammoth 98-starter early morning Foxhunter first round class by nearly 2sec, with Sally conjuring a lightning quick clear from the seven-year-old by Luidam, out of Corland mare Seliana.

    Like her full-sister Spring Willow, the year younger Red Head is described by her rider as “quirky and feisty”.

    “She and Spring Willow are different in some ways, but their attitude is very similar too, they’re both very brave and they love the jumping – they’re very competitive and are always looking for the next fence, which makes it a lot easier,” said Sally.

    “This is Red Head’s first ever time at Royal Windsor. I wanted to bring her last year for the experience but she wasn’t quite ready, so it was nice to bring her this year and for her to win it.

    “She’s only just started going against the clock. She’s naturally got a big stride so I was quite confident in that respect, but I thought there would be some faster ones towards the end of the class. I have a habit of coming second so I was waiting for that!”

    “Sassy” chestnut mare lifts the silverware

    Royal Windsor-winning chestnut mare Red Head earned the name having been “sassy” since birth.

    “She’s a feisty mare; the mum was a bit quirky and they have loads of siblings at home and they’re all a bit quirky,” said Sally, who was up at 4am to compete at the show, finishing with just four faults with Spring Willow in this year’s 1.40m.

    “They all like to jump, but they have their own ways of doing things.

    “Red Head went through a patch of being a bit lively during bad weather – she didn’t like storms – but we took her to Spain and she enjoyed herself there in the sunshine and hasn’t looked back. She doesn’t love the bad weather, so I’m happy it held off today.

    “It’s really nice to keep winning here having bred them. Red Head isn’t naturally as quick as Willow and she’s still learning, so I never came here expecting to win, especially against so many people. So to win is lovely.”

    Second place in Thursday’s Foxhunter class at Royal Windsor Horse Show went to Natasha Hewitt riding Jager Scais, with Adam Morgan third on Rolls Royce.

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