‘The picture is absolutely perfect’: Connemara and his junior jockey lift championship at HOYS

  • A Connemara pony dazzled on day three of the 2023 Horse of the Year Show (HOYS) to take the Westown Stud junior M&M ridden pony of the year championship. This was the second year on the trot that the impeccable Eastlands Dunedin, a gelding by Eastlands Harleybrae out of Eastlands Dunrose, has won at the NEC.

    Dunedin is owned by Susan Pool, produced by Lauren Beaumont and ridden in junior classes by Lucinda Leeming. He was bred by John and Dianna Staveley.

    Last season, the nine-year-old provided Lauren with her first HOYS Connemara pony of the year title. In last year’s championship the pair stood alongside Lucinda who had taken the Welsh section A title on her family’s Thistledown San-Siro.

    “Susan saw Lucinda win at HOYS last year,” explained Lauren. “There aren’t many people she would let ride him, but they look amazing together as a combination and Lucinda is a beautiful rider; the picture is absolutely perfect.”

    The first-season pairing has had few outings, but they have been successful on every occasion. On their first attempt at Derbyshire Festival they won and took the HOYS junior section championship. They were also fourth at the Royal International Horse Show.

    “He’s a pleasure to produce and he loves it here at HOYS,” said Lauren. “When he goes through those curtains he switches on and delivers the goods.”

    Mandy Burchell-Small’s home-bred Rowfantina Orlando Bloom and James Burchell headed the small breeds class before posting section reserve.

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