Wearing your poppy with pride: unusually marked cob is a hit in the show ring

  • A mini cob colt has been wearing his poppy with pride this season — because it forms part of his unusual markings.

    Thirteen-month-old Dennis the Menace, who appears to have both a remembrance poppy and kneeling soldier in the pattern on his back, has been a hit in the show ring, winning every class he is eligible for at riding club level.

    “Quite a few people notice his markings, especially when I show him in hand, where plenty of people comment on it. Obviously it catches the judges’ attention as well,” his owner Sean Witham told H&H.

    “I have had people asking for photos with him as the markings look like the war memorial. Lest we forget.”

    Dennis, who currently stands at 11.2hh, has had a successful first season, showing at three different riding clubs where he has won the youngstock, coloured and cob classes.

    He will also be able to show off his poppy to a bigger audience later this month when he appears at the STARS Champion of Champions event at Aintree (19-21 November).

    Sean said that he had “big plans for the little man”, hoping to show him at county level when he is older, as well as to put him to harness and back him for his 12-year-old son to ride.

    Sean bought the colt from a friend who had acquired him as a job lot with another horse.

    “I spotted the poppy as soon as I laid eyes on him, it just stands out,” he said. “She couldn’t keep them both, one had to get sold, and once I saw him that was it, I had to have him.”

    Sean added that Dennis had grown into a young pony with “a really good nature”.

    “I think it’s because he’s been handled from a young age, I could walk him down the A6 and he wouldn’t be bothered,” he said. “He’s the apple of my eye.”

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