Is this a Highland? A particularly heavy, hirsute Connemara?
Actually, he’s neither. Murthwaite Windrush is a Fell pony: usually, along with the Dales, the Henry Ford of natives — any colour, so long as it’s black.
And Windy’s unusual colouring has impressed the judges. He qualified for Horse of the Year Show (HOYS) at the Fell Breed Show (10 August) at only his 8th outing under saddle.
Jenny Crane’s 12-year-old stallion was only broken last year but, says rider Steph Wheway, has taken to it “like a duck to water”.
She added: “His coat definitely makes him stand out — when the rest of the class is black, you can’t miss him!”
While grey Fell ponies are not unheard of, they are unusual and his owners are keen to know if he is the first to have qualified for HOYS.
There is, however, a downside, to having such a striking coat — keeping it “Persil-bright”.
“It takes us a good 2½hr to get him clean before a show,” Steph admits. “If he were black, it would be around 30min.”
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This news story was first published in Horse & Hound magazine (22 August, 2013)