‘My pony of a lifetime’: prolific winning New Forest pony dies

  • One of the country’s most prolific winning New Forest ponies died last Thursday (30 November) aged 27.

    Ashfield Black Jack, known at home simply as Jack, was bought as a four-year-old by Ann Wilson for her daughter Laura to compete.

    The pony was bought from Barbara Stiles, who had bought Jack from the breeder Mr R.G Ralphs.

    Jack was by Willoway Piper out of Ashfield Bunty.

    In 1996 he started his first full season in the show ring coming fifth and top New Forest at Wembley.

    During his career Jack qualified for HOYS seven times winning the M&M working hunter pony championship in 1997, the first time a New Forest has taken the title.

    That same year he had another impressive performance at the New Forest County show winning both the M&M ridden and working hunter pony championship.

    “He was my pony of a lifetime,” said Laura Avery, now 37 years old.

    The 14hh black pony had never been ill, but did suffer from Cushings in his twenties.

    Throughout his career he was kept at Laura’s mother’s yard in Cambridge where he is much missed.

    Continued below…

    “Jack was the most forgiving, genuine pony. We learnt so much together,” said Laura fondly.

    Mrs Harvey still competes New Forest ponies winning the 90cm class at this year’s Mitsubish Motors Cup grassroots championship with her stallion Willoway Free Spirit.

    A firm believer in the versatility of the New Forest breed, she hunts, team chases, shows, events, Pony Club and does polo with her five ponies.

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