Connemara stallion defies Windsor mud to bag Horse & Hound M&M in-hand supreme title

  • “The things we’ve had to do to keep him clean this morning,” said Cathy Wood as she watched her snow-white Connemara stallion Contepomi Cashel step up to clinch the overall Horse & Hound-supported Mountain and Moorland (M&M) in-hand championship at the 2019 Royal Windsor Horse Show.

    While the weather stayed dry for the native ponies, two previous days of heavy rain meant that walkways and collecting areas were blanketed in thick mud.

    Cathy added: “He’s had to be fully bandaged and rugged and he’s had to wear a tail bandage right down to the bottom of his tail — it’s been a nightmare. When we were sat in the lorry last night we thought the show might be called off as the weather was that bad.”

    Nevertheless, the 12-year-old stallion — who is co-owned with Emma and John Rugman — was on song with usual handler Jamie Frost to be pulled forward by judge Allan Robertson to claim the supreme title.

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    “This is my first time at Windsor,” added Cathy, who breeds event horses from her base in Devon. “We’ve entered for the past four years, but due to covering commitments, we haven’t been able to come.

    “Contepomi is such a powerhouse and I love his trot. He was my first Connemara and now I have a herd of them.”

    Contepomi was a Cuddy finalist in 2015 and has since notched up several in-hand titles on the county circuit. At this show, he also proved his credentials as a sire as his three-year-old daughter won the youngstock class and stood eventual breed reserve.

    Reserve champion went to the Dales champion, Sarah Noble’s big-moving mare Stuffynwood Daffodil who was led by Everret Hayes.

    For all the latest news analysis, competition reports, interviews, features and much more, don’t miss Horse & Hound magazine, on sale every Thursday.

    Don’t miss our full report and analysis from this year’s Royal Windsor Horse Show in the 16 May 2019 issue of Horse & Hound magazine

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