‘We did our HOYS practice in the field in the dark’: HOYS win for home-produced Welsh A

  • Home-produced ponies continued to reign at the 2022 Horse of the Year Show (HOYS) as the uber-consistent Welsh section A Thistledown San-Siro (Rocky) and 13-year-old Lucinda Leeming headed a competitive National Pony Society/Baileys Horse Feeds HOYS Welsh section A final.

    HOYS was the one that Rocky, a Blackhill Picalo 11-year-old, was missing from his extensive CV. In July, he broke records by winning the open Welsh section A and B final with Lucinda and the Heritage first ridden championship with younger brother, William, in the saddle.

    The result here at HOYS was completely unexpected for the Leeming Family, who produce Rocky from their family farm.

    “He went really well for me today,” said Lucinda. “We do everything with him and he’s completely home-produced. We’ve even done mounted games on him.”

    Rocky was bought just before the pandemic and he began his career with Sam Roberts.

    “We got him for Lucinda’s last year in first riddens but Covid meant she missed the year,” said mother Diana Leeming. “We decided to try the juniors and the opens and they’ve gone from strength to strength. This year he’s won championships at the NPS and BSPS championships, too.”

    “Both Lucinda and William ride him; Lucinda is a technical rider and William is more gung ho so the combination together works. They both hack him round the farm and spend hours and hours with him.”

    The Leeming’s HOYS preparation went against the norm, as Diana explained:

    “We did our HOYS practice in the field in the dark; we got the forager and put lights on before playing some music, and that was our HOYS preparation.”

    Sarah Parker took second in the HOYS Welsh section A final with Mandy Higgins’ home-bred stallion Pinewell Storm.

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