Rider lands working hunter pony of the year championship with her ‘best mate’ on final outing together

  • It was deja vu for one home-producing family who watched their star rider jump to victory in the 143cm working hunter pony of the year final before landing the overall working hunter pony of the year championship, at the 2021 Horse of the Year Show (HOYS), exactly two years after she won in M&M worker ranks aboard the same pony.

    Mollie Mae Jeffrey was in the saddle of her father Wayne Jeffrey’s grey Connemara Woodfield Jovial Joker (Jack), who jumped a cracking clear over the David Cole-designed course on route to their second HOYS title.

    The nine-year-old was a working hunter winner and overall worker champion at the Royal International Horse Show (RIHS) earlier this year, meaning he has now achieved the rare same season HOYS-RIHS double which so few ponies manage.

    The Jeffreys bought Jack as a novice four-year-old after he was found in Ireland by Jayne Pimbley. Jack is home-produced by Mollie and Wayne from their base in Cumbria.

    Mollie was speechless after her win: “This is my last show with Jack as I’m out of class,” she said. “I never, ever expected this in a million years.

    “Jack is the sweetest pony; he’s my best mate and is just the best. The course was lovely to ride but very tight; you don’t realise how tight it is in the TopSpec arena until you’re jumping and coming off the turns. But Jack tries so hard for me and made it easy.”

    The Jeffreys are still undecided about what the future holds for Jack:

    “He will stay with us if we don’t find the perfect home,” said Mollie. “I hate thinking about selling him.”

    Mollie doesn’t have a school at home so has been hiring different arenas prior to their NEC trip.

    “We’ve just been getting in as much practice as possible,” Mollie added. “It’s been difficult, but it’s been so worth all the effort.”

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