‘I owe him the world’: farewell to prolific Fell stallion

A popular Fell Pony — who qualified for the Horse of the Year Show (HOYS) and the Royal International (RIHS) on multiple occasions and made his final show ring appearance at Olympia in December — has died suddenly aged 16.

Owned by Jodie Smith, the stallion Darrenvale Warrior, who is by Whitburn Major Tom out of Townend Mountian Gypsy, was originally owned and produced by Charlene Richardson who introduced him to the ridden circuit with much success.

The pair consistently qualified for HOYS (2009, 2010 and 2011) and also won the coveted open ridden championship at the Royal Highland Show in 2011.

“I bought Warrior from Charlene after I’d had bad riding accident,” said Jodie. “He is the reason I am still riding today — he got my confidence back both in and out of the ring. We ended up establishing an amazing partnership.”

Jodie and the home-produced Warrior tallied up results including a fifth at HOYS in 2014, reserve ridden supreme at the Fell Pony breed show in 2015 and reserve in the Pretty Polly native final at the RIHS in 2017.

“We qualified for the Olympia senior finals at his first outing as a veteran. He was a true showman and he loved the limelight. He had the heart of a winner which he proved with his results,” she said.

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“At home he enjoyed a varied life; he loved the beach and hacking. He was a gentleman and made me laugh every day. I wouldn’t even be riding without this pony. I really do owe him the world.”

For all the latest equestrian news and reports, don’t miss Horse & Hound magazine, out every Thursday. This week, make sure you catch up on the latest from the winter showing shows in your area in H&H’s new winter highlights series. Also in this issue, don’t miss our dressage special with lots of exclusive content. 

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