With the right mix of training, horsepower and ambition, a talented amateur can be unstoppable in the show ring. Alex Robinson meets one who is winning against the showing elite
Despite her amateur status, you would be hard-pressed to find anyone in the showing world who hasn’t heard of Polly Coles.
The 26-year-old from West Yorkshire has cemented her name over the past eight years with her host of classy show horses and impressive results achieved at the major championships. Polly’s 2019 was a particular cracker, the tally including four Horse of the Year Show (HOYS) tickets, a Hickstead Derby hunter supreme and various other wins in open and amateur ranks.
“I couldn’t do any of it without my team, they’re the driving force behind me,” admits Polly, who credits riding grooms and showmen Nathan Arnold and Sean Scallan as well as staff grooms Shelley Catch and Debbie Pickering for their dedication; Debbie has worked for the Coles for over 18 years and has been with Polly since her pony showing days.