‘He’s left a huge hole in our lives’: farewell to top pony who loved the ring

  • Georgia Kirby and Susan Kirby’s prolific show hunter pony and veteran contender Woodview Fiocco has been put down aged 21.

    The chestnut gelding known as Finn was one of the circuit’s most consistent senior contenders, his best season coming in 2022 when he was supreme ridden senior champion at the Royal International Horse Show (RIHS), supreme veteran of the year at the Veteran Horse Society (VHS) championships and reserve ridden senior champion at London International, where his marks were equal to those of the winner.

    Woodview Fiocco (Finn), who was bred by Moira Barron by Barkway Kouros out of Woodview Finlandia, was bought by the Kirby family when he was 13. Before this, he was shown successfully as a 133cm show hunter pony, qualifying for both the RIHS and Horse of the Year Show (HOYS).

    Georgia was eight when she first sat on Finn; her mother Susan said: “Finn took her straight off a first ridden pony and he was the pony who really got her into showing. Georgia was so small at the time, so Finn was a massive step up for her, but he taught her everything she knows.”

    Finn and Georgia began their partnership by showing in hunter pony classes at local level, but during the pandemic they found their feet as a combination.

    “At the beginning, Finn was quirky in his own little way,” said Susan. “He wasn’t naughty, but he could bolt, and we actually considered selling him. However, Georgia decided she wanted to persevere with him.”

    In 2021, Georgia won her first HOYS qualification with Finn, who was 18. At the NEC final, they finished second in the 133cm show hunter pony of the year championship.

    “As a home-produced family going to HOYS for the very first time with an 18-year-old pony, we were understandably speechless at the results,” said Susan. “It was Georgia’s dream to ride at HOYS, and to finish second there on her first trip was the highlight of her riding so far.”

    Finn, also a multi-county show supreme champion, and a top veteran contender in hand and under saddle. His final show ring appearance was at London International in December 2023, when he finished reserve supreme senior in-hand champion.

    “He had so much personality and he was Georgia’s best friend,” said Sue. “The ring was his happy place; he would just prick his ears, flick his toes and off he went. He blossomed every year he went out, too, and he just got better and better. He has left a huge hole in our lives.”

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