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‘If he said no he meant no’: Farewell to one of the most prolific Welsh ponies of all time

A legendary Welsh section A stallion who was a champion in-hand, under saddle and over fences has died aged 22.

Waitwith Westwind (Rambo) was owned by Debbie Barr for the duration of his illustrious career. Debbie also led him to win the Cuddy in-hand final at Horse of the Year Show (HOYS) in 2006. Rambo was the first pony to qualify for both the Royal International (RIHS) and HOYS on the flat and in working hunter classes as well as Olympia in the same year.

Debbie bought a two-year-old Rambo on the basis of a photo, from Gill Farrow.

“I was looking for a future stallion to use on my mares,” said Debbie, who breeds under the Firle prefix. “Rambo started his showing career in-hand. In 2006 he qualified for the Cuddy and went on to win the final at HOYS.

“Both of my daughters, Isabel and Alice, rode him in the ring. He qualified for HOYS both on the flat and in workers and also went to Olympia and was best of breed several times.”

When he was outgrown Rambo went to the Shephard family before heading off on loan to Gemma Pallett who had him for four seasons. During his time with Gemma, Rambo was overall M&M working hunter pony of the year at HOYS.

“He was always a pleasure to have around,” said Debbie. “He wasn’t just a superstar in the ring but was an absolute dream to have on the yard. He was so kind to everyone who had the pleasure of riding and handling him, and was 100 percent safe for anyone to do in the stable; he was always a happy pony.

“He would always come out of the lorry bouncing to let everyone know he had arrived at a show.”

As well as countless titles, Rambo gave his connections some memorable moments, such as when he refused to go in the water at the RIHS so he was eliminated.

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“Water splashes were not his thing,” said Debbie. “Also, if he ever said no he meant no.”

Rambo retired from the show ring after HOYS in 2016 and had since has been running with mares. Debbie has retained two of his daughters and one of his sons.

“He was a true showman in every way and he always stood out from the crowd,” she said. “He was a one and only, never forgotten and for ever missed.”

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