‘It would be criminal to retire him’: fourth Windsor championship for legendary Connemara

  • A Connemara gelding made it into the history books as he galloped away with the Royal Windsor M&M working hunter pony accolade for the fourth time in his career.

    Amy Smith’s 16-year-old bay gelding Laburnum Richard (Pedro) has been the exceeding 143cm contender to beat over the past decade.

    “He’s now won this championship four times, and he’s made five appearances here,” said Lancashire-based Amy. “He’s 16 this year but he’s looking and feeling better than ever. In showing, horses and ponies often have short-lived careers, but I’ve looked after Pedro so well over the 13 years I’ve owned him and he is consequently still out there winning major titles, while still loving the job. He’s like a fine wine. There’s no way I could retire him; it would be criminal.”

    “I’ll never in my lifetime have a horse like him,” added Amy. “He’s like a third child to me; I owe him everything and more.”

    Lisa Kelly designed the working hunter courses the competitors in each of the four height sections had to navigate. Second to Amy and Pedro in the exceeding 143cm section was Amy’s sister, Vikki, riding her own Connemara JP Corbally, another uber-consistent contender.

    “Vikki wishes I would retire Pedro so she can have the big win,” Amy laughed. “I love jumping Lisa Kelly tracks. They ask enough questions and they might look simple to those sitting on the outside of the ring, but they aren’t. It’s days like today which make the early mornings and the late nights worthwhile.”

    After the second time Pedro was champion at Royal Windsor, Amy said she was hesitant to bring him back to the show:

    “So I skipped a year with him,” she said. “And then I asked myself what I was doing. Pedro doesn’t like small area shows and he loves an occasion; this is where he thrives. So, I brought him back the following year and he was champion again.”

    Ella Enyon and winning 133cm, Rebecca Faulkner’s Welsh section C Joyton Sunshine, were reserve in the Royal Windsor M&M working hunter pony reckoning.

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