‘I thought, let’s go!’ tiny rider takes second HOYS ticket against top pony jumpers

  • A tiny rider who made headlines for qualifying for Horse of the Year Show (HOYS) has secured a second ticket – on an even bigger pony.

    Having qualified for the 138cm final on Lissduff Royal, by winning the second round on 21 May, nine-year-old Poppy Dorise took the pony newcomers second round at South View on 148cm mare Running In Heels, crossing the line over six seconds faster than second-placed Imogen Rome on Eden Ace.

    Poppy still has over three years to compete in 128cm classes, whereas riders may jump 148cm classes until the end of the year they turn 16. She took the reins of eight-year-old “Cally”, who is usually ridden by Tabitha Kyle, as Tabitha was competing in Holland.

    “When Tabitha told me I would be jumping at South View because she was jumping for Team GB abroad, I was so excited as I knew Cally had been so well produced,” Poppy said. “The first two rounds, she felt amazing and I was confident going into the third round. Tabitha and Tanya were ringing me with instructions for the jump-off.

    “I had a good draw and there were no clears so far; Cally is a big jumper and I thought ‘Let’s go’.”

    Poppy’s father Ryan told H&H the track was well up to height.

    “It was awesome,” he said. “Tabitha and [her mother] Tanya were brilliant, ringing between rounds, and Poppy said the mare’s so easy to ride, as long as you push the right buttons, but this is only the third show Poppy’s done on her, and the biggest class.”

    Ryan said he was just hoping the pair would complete the first round, but his tiny speed-demon daughter put her foot down to finish as the fastest of only three triple clears, from 81 starters.

    “We think she’s the youngest ever to qualify for the newcomers final,” he added. “For a little ‘un, she’s so calm; she’s ice-cool in a jump-off.”

    Poppy said that having watched Tabitha and Cally contest last year’s HOYS newcomers final, “it was my dream that one day it would be Cally and I”.

    Hollie Gerken and Jonkers Keyano jumped the third double clear, and the final HOYS ticket went to Katie Bradburne and Shovern Inca, who finished fourth.

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