‘He knew exactly where the grandstand was’: Farewell to HOYS-winning Welsh section C

A hugely successful Welsh section C has been put to sleep age age 19 after a prolific ridden career which included two wins at the Horse of the Year Show (HOYS) as an open ridden pony.

Rhyd-Ddu Glyndwr, or Riddy as he was known at home, was owned by Sara Dowdeswell and ridden by her daughter Sophie (now Famelton).

Riddy was bought by the Dowdeswells from the Peasedown stud in 2006 through show producer Mathew Lawrence.

“I just fell in love with him as soon as I saw his big ginger bum in the stable, said Sophie. “He was my pony of a lifetime not just because of his results but he was also such a character. He knew exactly where the grandstand was and loved to perform. 

Alongside many victories on the county circuit — including at the prestigious Great Yorkshire Show — he was also an Olympia finalist. His two HOYS victories came in 2008 and 2010.

Before he was shown as a gelding, Riddy was also used as a stud stallion.

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In tribute, Sophie wrote: “Riddy came to us at a difficult time but taught me how to smile again. He was a total superstar winning up and down the country and making all my dreams come true winning HOYS twice. But more than that he was such a character.

“He loved a grandstand and champagne bar and if there wasn’t enough entertainment he would create his own. He even spent a whole season refusing to let mum put his bridle on in the lorry meaning she had to accost strangers at the bottom of the ramp to help her. Following an accident a few years ago he has been unable to be ridden but lived out his days very happily with his best mates at home.”

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