‘He’s such a genuine pony’: perfect child’s pony takes HOYS mini title for the second time

  • Shilstone Rocks Thunderbird repeated a foot-perfect performance to land both the Horse of the Year Show (HOYS) M&M lead rein pony title, followed by the Colne & The McNeil Family HOYS mini M&M championship honours for his young rider Willow West, owner Brogan West and handler/producer John Harvey, for the second consecutive year.

    The consistent 12-year-old Dartmoor gelding is by Shilstone Rocks Atlantic Gale and out of Shilstone Rocks Snowbird. The team qualified for HOYS at the Showing Register Summer show and here, they performed a relaxed and flowing show to wow the judges for a second time in the Topspec arena.

    “It’s great to have done the double,” said Brogan. “He’s such a genuine pony. He literally only had a 15-minute lunge this morning and he’s gone in and coped with that atmosphere after winning the championship title last year. We really can’t ask any more of him.”

    The pony is clearly a true schoolmaster as he has taught his five-year-old rider Willow to ride.

    “He’s almost the perfect pony – he bites me quite a lot and doesn’t like standing up when asked – but if it wasn’t for those things, he really would be 100% perfect,” laughed Brogan. “Willow also takes him on fun rides as well as her riding lessons, so he is just so genuine. I think he really will have to stay with us for ever now.”

    Reserve went to the winner of the first ridden championship, Lotuspoint Cassius, a 15-year-old skewbald Shetland gelding ridden by Lilly Ahern-Lee.

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