‘He broke the mould’: former Hickstead coloured champion dies

  • The Artist, who stood champion Pretty Polly show hunter pony at the Royal International Horse Show in 2003, has died at the age of 21.

    Known as “Dippy”, the coloured pony was a regular in the show ring from the age of four with Emma Wilde — sister of equestrian commentator Steven Wilde — and he garnered much praise from judges and producers alike. Dippy was one of the early coloureds to appear on the showing circuit and he enjoyed a great deal of success.

    “Dippy broke the mould, spearheading the acceptance of coloured ponies in traditional showing ranks,” said Steven.

    As well as winning many accolades at county level, Emma and Dippy’s haul included show hunter pony and coloured titles at the British Show Pony Society and Ponies (UK) championships. At the latter, Dippy landed the Timberwolf and Commanchee titles.

    As winner of Coloured Horse and Pony Society finals Dippy earned a ticket to Horse of the Year Show. He also picked up British Skewbald and Piebald Association titles during his illustrous career.

    “Dippy was a once-in-a-lifetime pony,” said Emma. “He was a true hunter pony who never stopped giving, both as a competition pony and loyal devoted friend.”

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    Dippy was bought by Emma and her mother Sue Wilde 17 years ago from Ken Pritchard, as an “unknown and vastly underdeveloped four-year-old”.

    Following his success with Emma, the son of Jazz Boy was sold in 2006 to Georgie and Jenny Bourne, who went on to campaign Dippy under side-saddle.

    Dippy returned to the Wildes in 2010 for a well-earned semi-retirement. He appeared in the ring again, most recently in veteran classes — both in-hand and under saddle — where he added more sashes to his CV.

    “Dippy is irreplaceable and desperately missed by us all,” added Emma.

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