While the Olympia International Horse Show signals the end of the season for the showing community, this year’s fixture will also mark the end of an era for two of the country’s best-loved and succesful natives who will be retiring from the ridden show circuit.
The prolific Welsh section B stallion Cadlanvalley Buzby — reserve at Olympia last term — will have his final ping around the London arena with Libby Grota, while Chloe Chubb will pilot Dartmoor stallion Shilstone Rocks North Westerly for the crowds one last time.
Both ponies have phenomneal tallies under saddle. Buzby, now aged 10, rocketed to fame when he scooped the open ridden championship at Horse of the Year Show (HOYS) in 2016 with Katy Marriot-Payne.
He has since been known for his parntership with Libby Grota, the granddaughter of his breeders Yvonne and Howell Davies. Libby and Buzby were crowned young rider champions at the Royal International (RIHS) last season and stood second at HOYS in October. Buzby has also won the National Welsh section B Brynseion final three times and was supreme Heritage champion at the BSPS summer championships.
“I knew he was going to be a superstar as he took to the ridden job like a duck to water,” said Libby’s mother Hayley Grota. “He won HOYS as a five-year-old and then the following season he was champion there. We’ve decided to retire him because we asked ‘what more can he win for us?’
“I want him to be remembered as the golden boy he is. He’s an outstanding sire and as he’s being ridden we haven’t used him on our mares to his full potential. We’ve also got two younger Cadlanvalleys to come out and we feel they will also have fantastic careers ahead of them.”
Dartmoor Shilstone Rocks North Westerly (Windy) will also bow out at the top. The 12-year-old has won HOYS on three seperate occassions, in 2016, 2018 and 2019. He has also recieved top placings at the RIHS, been best of breed at Olympia and qualifed for the Cuddy in-hand final, standing third in the final as an eight-year-old.
Owned by Lynda Calcutt, Windy has been ridden by Chloe since he was five.
“The first show we took him to I went into the HOYS class and I ended up standing next to him with his bridle in my hand,” said Chloe. “Windy is what can be described as ‘cold-backed’. He has never changed but I am so used to him now.
‘I will allow for a little over exuberance in the electric atmosphere but not much...’
Olympia M&M conformation judge and successful Connemara breeder Henrietta Knight shares her views on this prestigious class
“That first time winning HOYS was like no other; we always knew he was a champion it just took us a while to get there.
“He is certainly a pony who likes to keep you on your toes; he has managed to deposit two substitute riders in championships over his years. He has taught me to stick a pony well as he is often scared by different colour patches of grass, or particular leaves while out hacking.
“I can’t explain how much I will miss him as a partner in crime, there is never a dull moment with him in your life but what else does he have to prove. I am hoping one day his son might follow in his footsteps.”
Would you like to read Horse & Hound’s independent journalism without any adverts? Join Horse & Hound Plus today and you can read all articles on HorseandHound.co.uk completely ad-free