Welsh B takes top title from record entry at Veteran Horse Society championships

  • THE Veteran Horse Society (VHS) hosted its annual national championship show at Arena UK, with the largest number of entries in its eight-year history. The fixture’s most coveted honour is the national veteran supreme overall final, which comprises the four veterans that have qualified from the respective in-hand and ridden supremes.

    Netting overall glory for the second time was Millie Bowles leading her 24-year-old Welsh section B gelding Cottrell Riverdance (Ronnie), a former Olympia finalist.

    “Ronnie absolutely loved the opportunity to show off here again,” said Millie, who has owned Ronnie for seven years and last won the accolade in 2019. “He’s the funniest, quirkiest character and is a ball of energy to ride.

    “Keeping Ronnie in tip-top condition is a team effort, and I’m thankful to all my friends and family.”

    Georgia Kirby and her home-produced 18-year-old show hunter pony Woodview Fiocco (Finn) took overall reserve supreme. Just a few days after their successes here, Finn and Georgia stood second in the 133cm show hunter pony of the year final at the Horse of the Year Show (HOYS).

    Georgia, 14, has been partnered with Finn for five seasons, and the pair netted respective in-hand and ridden classes here on VHS turf.

    “Finn was the oldest in his class by several years at HOYS,” said Georgia’s mother Sue of the double Royal Lancashire supreme champion. “He’s made us so proud this season. This is Georgia’s last year in the 133cm class, and as he’s quite quirky to ride he’ll be with us for life.”

    Georgia Kirby

    Georgia Kirkby with her home-produced 18-year-old show hunter pony Woodview Fiocco

    In ridden ranks, eight-year-old Scarlett Sharp impressed with 17-year-old Shetland Broadspring Tango (Red) to clinch the overall supreme. The pair booked their VHS golden ticket at the Shetland Performance show where they were also supreme ridden champions.

    “We’ve had Red since he was a yearling; we picked him out from a Shetland stud in Devon” said Scarlett’s mother Megan Halsall.

    The 2019 HOYS coloured champion Del Boy V, now 17, landed the champion of champions sash for his owner Michelle Cuerden.

    Since his HOYS triumph, “Derek” has been standing at the Ribble View Stud in Lancashire and has won several veteran and overall supreme titles, including at the Coloured Horse and Pony Society (CHAPS) championships.

    “He took a junior around CHAPS, winning his class,” said Michelle. “The veteran classes are certainly different as there’s a range of beautiful animals in all shapes and sizes. But it’s a really fun atmosphere and everyone works so hard to keep their horses in magnificent condition.”

    Always looking to the future, Michelle has Derek’s son coming to her base when he’s weaned at the end of the year.

    “We also have a novice by my stallion Beau Diddley waiting in the wings for next season,” Michelle added.

    • This report will also be available to read in H&H magazine, on sale Thursday 21 October

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