‘He was some pony’ — Farewell to iconic Fell stallion who made breed history

  • Alistair and Ian Smith’s prolific home-bred Fell pony stallion Bracklinn Jackpot has been put down aged 15 after sustaining a leg injury in the field.

    By Carrock I’m Yer Man out of Southolme Beauty, Jackpot was the only Fell pony ever to qualify for the Cuddy in-hand final and ridden Fell pony of the year final at Horse of the Year Show (HOYS).

    “Jackpot was born on the day of the Fell pony stallion show; we came home from the show and there he was,” said Alistair, who led Jackpot throughout his in-hand career. “Over the next few days we realised what a special pony he was going to be.”

    As a yearling, Jackpot landed the youngstock supreme at the Fell pony stallion show and the following year he was crowned overall mountain and moorland (M&M) supreme at the last ever Royal Show.

    “When he was four, we took him to the NPS [National Pony Society] summer championships and he won just about everything he went in,” added Alistair. “The year he qualified for the Cuddy, he was pulled into the top line-up four times before he got his ticket.

    “He had a rare spark and arrogance in the ring; he loved to show off and he just wanted to go. We backed him at home and we felt that he had a lot of potential as a ridden pony.”

    Jackpot was ridden by Hayley Reynolds during the 2016 and 2017 seasons and together they landed many championships and enjoyed several wins in HOYS qualifiers. One of his greatest achievements was winning the HOYS M&M ridden championship at the NPS summer championships after scoring 50/50 for conformation in his breed qualifier.

    “He just loved his job and he loved Hayley, too,” said Alistair. “He never looked sour and he would rise to the occasion every time he went in the ring.”

    Hayley added: “Jackpot was the Rolls Royce of Fell ponies and I’ve never ridden a pony quite like him; the engine underneath you when you sat on him was something else. Not only was he a superstar in the ring, but he regularly took my son, who was just seven at the time, out hacking. He had a heart of gold and in the last few weeks showed he had the heart of a lion, too.”

    Jackpot also stood at stud in recent years and leaves a string of top-class progeny. His daughter, Bracklinn Mabel, stood supreme at the Fell pony breed show in 2021, the same year she also stood M&M in-hand supreme at the Royal Highland, where Jackpot’s son, Nicholwalls Black Jack, was also M&M ridden supreme.

    “Jackpot was a pleasure to show and was the quietest, nicest pony. After his accident he went to Glasgow vet school where he stayed for seven weeks. All the vets and staff at Glasgow were amazing with the care they gave him and the team had become so fond of him; they were as devastated as us. He was some pony,” said Alistair.

    You might also be interested in:

    Horse & Hound magazine, out every Thursday, is packed with all the latest news and reports, as well as interviews, specials, nostalgia, vet and training advice. Find how you can enjoy the magazine delivered to your door every week, plus options to upgrade your subscription to access our online service that brings you breaking news and reports as well as other benefits.

    You may like...