‘He’s a bit of a joker’: home-bred New Forest stallion triumphs in first class of HOYS 2023

  • A home-bred stallion won the first red rosette of the 2023 Horse of the Year Show (HOYS) as he led the National Pony Society/Baileys Horse Feeds M&M ridden New Forest pony of the year final on his debut at the prestigious show. Breeders Andrew Vine and Laura House’s lightly-shown seven-year-old Vynnes Magical Edition (Mr Ed) was providing his connections, including his rider Pip Smith, with their first-ever HOYS centre line moment.

    The stallion, who is by Applewitch Pure Magic out of Brookshill Blackberry, qualified for the final on his first outing of the year, at Royal Three Counties back in June.

    “We knew we had a nice pony on our hands, but this was so unexpected as he’s a bit of a joker,” said Pip, who is based on the Isle of Wight.

    Mr Ed was bred on the New Forest and he’s the first Vynnes-bred pony to appear at HOYS. He has enjoyed some success in-hand, including winning the New Forest breed championship at New Forest and Hampshire County in 2019. He is also a breed show champion.

    “I bought Ed’s full brother from Andrew and Laura, and I saw Ed in the field and I asked if I could ride him,” Pip explained. “He lives with me on the Isle of Wight during the summer and we just hack him about. We don’t do too much with him as he doesn’t like too much pressure; HOYS is only his third show of the year.”

    “He has his own way of doing things, and I just go along with it,” added Pip, who noted that her best result at HOYS prior to this win was eighth.

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