‘Today the ultimate unicorn gained his wings’: farewell to most successful grey Fell pony of all time

  • A Fell pony stallion who made history in the show ring has died aged 18.

    Jenny Crane’s prolific pony Murthwaite Windrush (Windy) became known for his partnership with his producer Steph Peto, who rode him for the majority of his career under saddle.

    Windy cemented his place in the history books when he became the first grey of his breed to qualify for Horse of the Year Show (HOYS).

    Windy began his journey as an in-hand pony, picking up accolades at shows across the country. Some of his main wins in hand include the supreme championship at the Fell stallion show and supreme mountain and moorland at Newark and Notts. 

    A career change for Windy meant he became acquainted with Steph in early 2013 when he was broken under saddle.

    “I had only ever admired Windy in pictures,” said Steph. “He came to have some schooling ahead of the Fell Show. On his arrival at the yard he promptly flicked his hair, nearly dislocated my arm and dragged me down the yard.”

    In his first season under saddle, age 12, he qualified for HOYS and proceeded to win the open ridden Fell and Dales pony of the year final before standing reserve overall champion.

    He qualified for HOYS a total of six times, both on the flat and as a worker; he started his working hunter career aged 17.

    Alongside his tally at the NEC, Windy also qualified for Olympia of four occasions and also stood best of breed.

    Last year he was crowned veteran pony champion at the showing awards.

    In tribute, Steph wrote: “Today the ultimate unicorn and king of our yard gained his wings, leaving a huge gaping hole in all our lives.

    “The little white pony with the fabulous hair has touched so many people, and made so many dreams come true.

    “He was the first grey Fell to qualify for HOYS and is still the only one to have qualified on the flat. He gave Jenny and Heather their first experience of qualifying a pony for HOYS and went on to exceed all expectations. He adored HOYS and thought everyone was there just to see him!

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    “The most special pony you could ever meet, he did everything with a smile on his face, loved life, put up with all our ridiculous ideas and never ate our decorations at Olympia.

    “Windy, there will never be another one like you.It has been a privilege to be your partner for the past 6 years. Our yard will be a very different place without you and I am truly heartbroken.”

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