One young rider who really caught our eye with her natural talent at the Winter Pony Finals at South View Equestrian Centre (22-24 April) was Anya Dewey Clarke, who only turned seven in December.
Anya announced her arrival on to the showjumping scene with an impressive one-two in the Springboard 128cm final, heading the line-up with Mini Mouse II and collecting the runner-up spot with Brookhall Pavarotti.
Anya only started showjumping in lockdown, having previously made her competitive debut in showing, a discipline in which she still rides successfully, having scooped the mini show pony of the year title at Horse of the Year Show (HOYS) in 2021 (pictured below).
“She really took to the showjumping and now we’ve ended up with three showjumping ponies,” her mother Anna said. “She’s very dedicated and just loves all things ponies.”
Anya affiliated around a year ago and although she has quickly climbed the ranks, Anna did not expect her to have a shot at this title.
“Our objective was to just get round, enjoy it and learn from it,” she said. “We’re incredibly proud of her, she steps up to the occasion, never gets flustered and is quite cool and calm.”
Anya originally had a starter pony but quickly progressed, with Anna buying 15-year-old Pavarotti for her last summer and 19-year-old Mini in December.
“We got Mini from Geoff Luckett and she is the loveliest person to have around, I wish I could have 10 of her,” Anna added.
Anya also collected second place in the 10-year-old-and-under style and performance championship with Pavarotti, finishing just one point behind winners Charlie Simcock and the coloured 13-year-old Frigowny Fairqueen.
“As much as I was delighted with Mini, I was amazed with Pavarotti as we have had a few ups and downs with him – Anya had a little bit of a tricky patch going into second rounds where they jumped well in the first rounds but couldn’t keep it together in jump-offs, so I was delighted with his four clears,” Anna added.
- You can read the full report from the Winter Pony Finals in this week’s issue of the magazine, in the shops on Thursday 5 May.
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