A 14.1hh event pony has defied her size and qualified for the intermediate championships at the Festival of British Eventing 2016.
Sara Chittleburgh is aiming her mare Sari de Lobelle at Gatcombe (5-7 August).
The Mérens (French pack horse) cross thoroughbred mare was bred for endurance riding across the Alps but her previous owners decided she was too small.
Sara bought her as a five-year-old in 2005 with the aim of bringing her on for pony teams, hoping to sell if she showed promise.
“I decided to keep her to see where she could go and she showed me more and more scope,” Sara told H&H. “It has surprised me how far she came on.”
5’2” tall Sara said “Sari” rides like a horse.
“She is a horse in a small body,” she said.
“All of her strides are big. In cross-country you look where you’re going and she knows what you want her to jump — there’s no doubt in her mind.
“In dressage and showjumping she fills you with confidence. She is very powerful.”
Sara described Sari as a “quirky” character in the stable.
“She is special and I think she knows it,” Sara added.
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Last year the pair were placed second in the Corinthian Cup at the Festival of British Eventing (7 August).
Later that season Sari completed a clear in her first intermediate cross-country at Oasby (17 October).
Since then the pair have enjoyed three top-ten placings at intermediate level.