Royal Windsor triumph for full-time nurse and her ‘high-maintenance’ traditional pony

  • A nurse rode her traditional coloured gelding to clinch the Royal Windsor ridden senior pony accolade, and a coveted Royal International (RIHS) place, on the first day of the 2023 Royal Windsor Horse Show.

    Ellie Taylor’s own 15-year-old Buddhist Punk (Paddy) reigned in the Royal Windsor ridden senior pony championship above the reserve choice, Alice Stratton riding her 22-year-old Welsh section B Laithehill Pasha.

    The Taylors have owned Paddy for just under a decade.

    “We had him on loan initially and then we eventually bought him,” said Ellie, who is a full-time nurse and juggles showing around long hours, including night shift patterns.

    “I ride after nights, and I have to book weekends off to show well in advance,” said the 24-year-old, who is based in Liverpool.

    When he was younger, Paddy was struck down with sycamore sickness and he consequently suffers from several allergies. Paddy is managed with a specific routine:

    “He recovered from the illness but he does have lots of allergies which has set us back,” said Ellie, who has competed Paddy at Hickstead in open coloured ranks several times over the years. “It’s hard to manage as he can’t go near certain things which might trigger him. He’s high maintenance, but he’s come out feeling better than ever this year. He is the most easy going gentle giant in the world.

    “I also have to give credit to my farrier, Wilf Ford, who has done wonders with Paddy. He had started to struggle on his feet but Wilf has got him back on track. This is definitely a team effort.”

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