‘He’s taken her the whole way’: former carriage driving pony jumps to HOYS title

  • A former driving pony shone over fences on day two of the 2023 Horse of the Year Show (HOYS) as he won the Thor Atkinson Steel Fabrications Ltd. M&M junior 122cm working hunter pony of the year final. Millie Mortimer, 10, rode her mother Bianca Mortimer’s 13-year-old gelding Templedruid Carob (Admiral) to victory on their debut at the NEC.

    The Mortimers have owned Admiral, who they produce from home, for three years and prior to him joining the family he was a carriage driving pony.

    “We got him on loan as he was retiring from the driving scene,” said Bianca. “He introduced Millie to poles, and he’s taken her the whole way.

    “He’s the perfect pony. He’s totally bombproof, probably from his time in the carriage.”

    Millie and Admiral contended four HOYS qualifiers this season and they earned their pass at Denbigh and Flint. The pair are also seasoned Pony Club contenders.

    “If it is fun, Admiral will do it,” said Bianca. “He’s totally home-produced. I knew he’d jump the course [at HOYS] but neither of them have been in this type of atmosphere before, so it was a totally unexpected result. We just wanted to come to HOYS and have a nice time.”

    After her win, Millie said: “I was quite scared when I walked the course, and the last fence was probably the trickiest. But Admiral was amazing. He is cheeky, but he’s a really good boy.”

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