The 30-year-old show pony mare Mountain Gale topped a 66-strong veteran in-hand final at the recent Show Teams And Rising Stars (STARS) Champion of Champions show at Aintree Equestrian Centre (23 — 26 November).
Mountain Gale, a pure-bred Welsh section B who is known at home as Gale, was handled to perfection by four-year-old Grace Speak, who had ridden the ever-green pony to also finish fourth in the show pony lead-rein final and second in the ridden veteran championship earlier in the week.
Grace is a member of Thornton Cleveleys and District Horse Club. Gale has been on loan from the Peake family for a decade.
Last season, Gale won the ridden veteran championship at STARS with Poppy Gorst in the saddle. She is also a former Royal Windsor in-hand senior champion, has previously contended the senior finals at London International Horse Show and is set to return this year with Grace.
“Gale was formerly ridden by my nieces and now Grace has taken the reins,” said Grace’s mother, Lucinda Speak, who led the pair during their ridden finals at Aintree. “They do all Pony Club activities together, and Grace recently rode Gale to pass her D and riding road safety tests. Gale is a true kid’s pony.”
When asked what the secret to Gale’s longevity is, Lucinda said that the mare thrives on a varied routine.
“She doesn’t like to be stabled so she lives out,” Lucinda said. “She lives a very varied life, and she is very rarely schooled. We love her to bits.”
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