Christmas-present pony goes from ‘spooky and green’ to national champs winner

  • A pony bought as a Christmas present exceeded expectations to win the Blue Chip pony newcomers masters at the British Showjumping national championships, collecting a ticket for Horse of the Year Show (HOYS) in the process.

    Michael Mccolm had been riding Legend Scais for a local family last year and “fell in love with him”, so his parents bought him as a surprise.

    “Michael’s sister is 17, so she’d got her first wee car for Christmas. Michael had gone out to sit in the car with her on Christmas morning, and it was parked right outside Legend’s stable,” his mum Natasha said.

    “We said ‘we’ve got you a lovely present as well’ and pointed at Legend. We were all crying.”

    The very talented 148cm was an embryo transfer foal, who ended up being a twin, so never grew to be full height. Bred to jump, he is by Emilion out of a Zirocco Blue mare who is a full sister to Scott Brash’s great five-star partner Ursula.

    “He’s very striking to watch and his temperament is lovely, he’s not like a normal pony, he’s like a big dog in the stable,” Natasha said. “When he sees Michael coming through the gate home from school, he broncs and circles in the stable, he gets so excited.”

    As Legend is only seven, it was anticipated that he would be one for the future, and the plan was just to “have a play” with him this year and see how he got on.

    “Recently he’s become so brave and bold that we’ve just cracked on with him,” Natasha said.

    “We didn’t expect to jump newcomers second rounds this year. At the beginning of the year he was quite a wuss and very spooky and green, he would try to not jump the first fence.

    “Then we went to the Highland show and I was nervous about him jumping there as there was no warm-up class and he had to go straight into a 1.10m. He came out so brave, it was like something clicked and completely changed, as if he got a taste for it.

    “Now he’ll take anything on and doesn’t spook at anything, I’ve never seen such a complete change happen in one week.”

    Michael was the fastest of five double clears in a seven-strong jump off in the newcomers masters, where the top four combinations all qualified for the pony newcomers final at HOYS.

    Sophie Coward Talbott and Kohinoor Come On Annie took reserve, ahead of Lexie Corcoran (Dowdstown) and Flynn Baker (Vinura Bobby).

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