Eight-year-old qualifies his mini Unicorn for Royal International

  • Eight-year-old Noah Roney-Billard has qualified for the BHS Royal International Horse Show at Hickstead for the second consecutive year with his home-produced pony Polaris Unicorn.

    Last year Noah and Unicorn came seventh in the M&M first ridden class at the show. This year they have qualified for three classes –M&M open first ridden, PUK young riders small breeds and M&M Pretty Polly first ridden.

    Noah was given Unicorn for his third birthday and they soon became best friends.

    “Unicorn knows what to do for Noah and Noah understands what Unicorn is feeling,” said Noah’s mum, Josie.

    Noah, who is a member of the Barlow branch of the Pony Club, lives on a small farm in Homesfield in Derbyshire between Chesterfield and Sheffield.

    “We don’t have a menage so we never school our ponies. In fact the only times Noah goes into the arena is at Pony Club or when he’s at a show.

    “We do all our riding in the woods and the surrounding countryside. We’re lucky to live in the beautiful Peak District National Park so there is lots of hacking with very little road work. I think that’s probably why they are doing so well – schooling will sour the pony and is boring for the child,” said Josie.

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    Along with riding Unicorn every day after school, Noah also does all the chores and he taught himself to ride with a double bridle.

    “He’s not your typical eight-year-old boy,” said Josie. “He mucks out and feeds the ponies and takes care of his dog and geese. He taught himself to ride in a double bridle by watching YouTube videos and mastered it in a day.”

    Unicorn is also a big favourite with Noah’s two-year-old sister Delilah and his brother Wilfy, who is four.

    “He’s safe, honest kind and very genuine,” said Josie. “He’s not your typical Welsh section A, he’s very small but he does the job and looks after my children and that’s what makes him very special.”

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