Welsh ponies battle it out for HOYS M&M worker title, as home-produced combination reigns

  • This year’s Thor Atkinson Steel Fabrications Ltd. 2023 M&M working hunter pony of the year championship at the Horse of the Year Show (HOYS) saw four winning Welsh ponies battle it out for the title.

    The top spot went to one of the smallest combinations, Ollie Rowlands and his mother Fiona Aston’s Welsh section A Delami Bravado (Benny).

    The eight-year-old gelding and 13-year-old Ollie came through to the championship after winning the 122cm class. The pair, who were appearing at HOYS for the second year in a row, impressed this year’s judges Nicola Shuttleworth (conformation) and Jane Somerset (show) throughout.

    Benny is produced from home by Ollie, who started jumping him during lockdown.

    Benny is by Dukeshill Dotcom out of Brynrodyn Blodwen and he was bred by the Waller Family. He was started under-saddle by Hannah Turnock. Since he joined Ollie three years ago, Benny has been totally home-produced.

    This year the pair won Royal Windsor, appeared at the Royal International Horse Show and they won HOYS qualifiers at The Showing Register’s amateur show and at Denbigh and Flint, respectively.

    Ollie is a graduate from the ever-growing STARS amateur championships as in 2021 he steered Benny to working hunter pony glory at the final.

    Reserve for the third time in their partnership was Ashley Bird riding his own Welsh section D stallion Gwerniago Gethin who had captured the 143cm honours earlier in the day.

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