‘He’s a big ring pony’: 11-year-old and show pony win title for second year on the trot

  • Leading showman Robert Walker watched on proudly as his 11-year-old daughter reclaimed the Royal Windsor show pony championship on her consistent 128cm contender.

    Isabella (Izzy) Walker and Helen Davies’ Stoneleigh Showtime (Charlie), a seven-year-old by Cusop Dimension out of Trelawn Gaiety Girl, landed the same tricolour 12 months ago on their debut in The King’s back garden.

    Judges Stuart Hollings (ride) and Natalie Mulrooney (conformation) said the combination totally shone in the main arena championship.

    “This is obviously a big ring pony; it just grew and looked an absolute picture,” said Stuart.

    During the morning’s class, the pair were pulled in second, but a stand-out show cemented them the class title.

    “He’s such a massive little mover that he found the going a bit soft on the go-round, but Izzy had worked it out ahead of her show and she really showed him off,” said Robert.

    This season, Charlie and Izzy — reserve here this morning on her novice 138cm ride Swan Lake — have landed three championships from three starts.

    At home, Izzy makes sure Charlie is kept fit and in work, as Robert explained: “She’s just pony mad. She comes home from school and rides him at least four or five times per week. She even jumps him, though we have to be careful she doesn’t put the fences too big ahead of the season. She’s been teaching him all of these moves — rein back and walk to canter — that hasn’t been very useful when it comes to show pony classes, but she just loves training and being with the ponies.”

    Izzy added: “There were a few nerves as I felt the pressure after winning it last year. But Charlie felt very good and it’s absolutely amazing to have won on both of my ponies.”

    Reserve in the 2024 Royal Windsor show pony championship was the winning 148cm Stanley Grange Gilt Edge, ridden by Matilda Holmes, owned by Zoe Holme.

    “This pony really operated and thoroughly deserved to be reserve,” said Stuart.

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