‘I bought him unseen straight from the field’: Mother’s eye for a champion cemented as six-year-old daughter lifts mini title

  • The foot-perfect trio of producer Sharn Linney, six-year-old rider Anya Dewey Clarke and her mother Anna’s beautiful seven-year-old show pony lead rein Barkway Take That (Robbie) trotted to the mini show pony of the year championship at the 2021 Horse of the Year Show (HOYS).

    The bay gelding by Beckside Little Toff out of Twylands Tiffany picked up his ticket at the Derbyshire Festival of Showing, but amassed four impressive HOYS qualifier wins this year, including at the Great Yorkshire, BSPS Summer Championships and Royal Cheshire.

    Ponies donning the Barkway prefix made up eight of the qualified ponies across the lead rein and first ridden classes.

    “I get more nervous than Anya does,” said Anna, who bought Robbie as a three-year-old unseen from an advert on social media. “We got him straight out of the field and he was absolutely tiny when he arrived. We sent him to Sharn and she said to take him home again to mature.”

    In 2019, Robbie did one show as a novice.

    “This is his first proper season,” added Anna. “Sharn has worked so hard with him. He comes home during the winter for Anya to ride.”

    Anya, despite being only six years old, had little time to celebrate her class victory as she was back in action in the first ridden section aboard Seamore Lady Derby, achieving sixth place.

    “Anya loves her ponies; she lives and breathes them,” said Anna. “Robbie is a very happy pony and he loves life.”

    Second and reserve behind Anya and Robbie throughout was Penny Richardson riding the 10-year-old Stanley Grange Cocktail mare Cosford Glamourize, produced by Kevin Cousins and Christina Gillett.

    Penny’s older sister, Lilly, maintained the family formbook with her first ridden Barrdene Romeo, by Stanley Grange Cocksure, who pipped Barkway Alfie Moon, by Beckside Little Toff, and Tilly Annabell Leech into second for the Smalley Family and producers David Jinks and Adam Forster

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