The mother of a 15-month-old rider who competed in her first show last weekend says she was squealing and laughing with joy as she strutted her stuff in the ring.
Tiny Grace Brock, in a triple 0-size hat and with her jacket sleeves rolled up three times, rode Shetland Sunny in a lead rein class at a charity horse and pony show at Tiffield on 6 June.
Proud mum Andrea Owen told H&H Grace has been riding since she was eight or nine months old.
“She’s been coming to the yard with me since she was born, and as soon as she could sit up, I sat her on my ex-racehorse Wiki,” Andrea said.
“Then we took her up to see my friend Courtney Leonard, who owns Sunny, and sat her in the basket saddle, and she loved it.”
Andrea said Grace hopes she is going to the yard every time she is put in the car.
“She does a ‘clip clop’ to mean horse, and every time we go in the car or see any greenery, she starts clicking and I have to break her heart by saying we’re going to nursery instead!” she said.
“When Sunny trots, she just screams with laughter the whole time; she was doing it all the way round the ring at the show. She was squealing with delight, and waving to her adoring crowd like she was the next Charlotte Dujardin. She was hilarious.”
Andrea praised Sunny, whom she has known of for years, as “the most patient and kind Shetland I’ve ever met”.
“I’ve always called them Shitlands, but he’s worth his weight in gold,” she said. “He lets her do anything, and she likes to pick grass and hay for him; she already knows that’s the way to a Shetland’s heart.
“She didn’t come anywhere at the show, but I was absolutely chuffed with how they went, and her adoring fans thought she should have won!”
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Andrea has not ridden her 27-year-old thoroughbred since she gave birth but hopes to get back on board, and would eventually like to be able to ride with her daughter.
“Much to her dad’s disgust, she’s absolutely horse-mad – I’m thrilled to pieces!” she said.
“She sees them on TV and starts clip-clopping; she has the racing on and cheers when they win. We’re all going to Ascot next week so she’ll be absolutely thrilled.
“We’re planning her next show, in July, and the aim is just to let her keep going and have fun. She absolutely loves it, and as long as she does, she can keep going.”
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