Cob bought for £1 to return to county competition aged 31

A 31-year-old Welsh cob who was bought for £1 is to come out of retirement to compete at Derbyshire County Show this weekend.

Haperly Banner Royale has not competed in carriage driving since he won at the 2003 Chatsworth County Fair, but is to end his 16-year spell on the sidelines at Elvaston Showground on Saturday (23 June).

His owner Sarah Barraclough, from Morton, said she tried “Banner” in a carriage last year.

“We’ve been out with the carriage doing a bit of pleasure driving but we haven’t competed for a number of years,” she said.

“I’m not really sure what to expect from Banner; we’re just going to enjoy the experience. He likes a big occasion like the Derbyshire County Show!

“He’s very enthusiastic; we will go along and see what happens.”

Sarah bought Banner in 2003 from her friend Ron Hubbard.

“I had ridden horses as a youngster but took a break as I got my career on track,” she said.

“I was introduced to Ron through a friend. He was 71 and needed help with Banner and the carriage; a stunning Bennington, which is around 40 years old.

“I would ride Banner, to keep him fit, and eventually started helping Ron out as a groom. I took over the reins as Ron got older and his health deteriorated and, in 2003, I bought him for just £1.

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“Banner is a big part of our family. I’ve had him for 22 years and still keep in touch with Ron’s family; they love to follow his progress.”

Sarah added that if Banner performs well, he will be given some of his favourite biscuits – custard creams.

Edward Hicklin, chairman of the Derbyshire Agricultural and Horticultural Society, said: “We are delighted to welcome Banner and Sarah to the show and wish them luck in the competition.”

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