The unflappable Welsh performer with an A-star record in both the show ring and dressage arena
Stable name: Chip
11-year-old 13.2hh Welsh section B stallion
Rider: Sam Roberts
Owner: Helen Skirton
Breeder: Richard Jones
Best results: 2014, 1st and champion Olympia qualifier Royal Windsor, 1st RIHS Welsh section A/B final; 2nd HOYS Welsh section B final; BSPS Olympia M&M supreme ridden champion. 2015, 1st RIHS Welsh section A/B final; British Isles supreme NPS summer champs. 2017, 1st Welsh section B Great Yorkshire. 2018, winner BD native pony finals novice and elementary. 2019, 1st Wellington Area Festival elementary. 2020, 1st and champion open ridden NPS Autumn Festival.
“He’s a freak of nature,” laughs native show producer Sam Roberts of her beloved Welsh section B Moelview Prince Consort (Chip). “And he has an enormous amount of self-belief.”
The elegant stallion first met Sam when he was an unbroken three-year-old colt. The following year the duo defied the form book when they trotted away with the mountain and moorland supreme title at Olympia in 2014 after qualifying at Royal Windsor on their first attempt.
“He always wants to do his best,” says Sam of her double Royal International (RIHS) winner. “He laps up attention and loves an atmosphere; the bigger the buzz the more he comes alive.
“He’d only done six shows prior to Windsor but as he’d taken everything in his stride I decided to take him, even just to ride round. He wasn’t bothered by anything; that’s been his personality from day one.”
Fast forward seven years and Chip’s exemplary performances have stood him in good stead in other disciplines. As well as foraying into working hunter classes and picking up two separate tickets to Hickstead, his talent has been developed between the white boards.
“I did a bit of dressage with him in preparation for Olympia,” says Sam. “It was only his 12th show so it made sense to keep giving him outings. Just after Olympia he won a prelim with a score of 86.75% under Jennie Loriston-Clarke.
“Since then he’s been placed at the British Dressage nationals five times and has scored 75% at novice, and novice and elementary music. He’s also been H&H’s ‘one to watch’ as both a show and dressage pony.”
Chip’s star quality and trainable attitude means he’s become one of the most consistent natives of the present day, and he makes sure his celebrity status is known by all.
“He does think everyone was put on the earth to serve him,” says Sam. “He’d go to a show every day if he could. He’s also adaptable; he can cover a mare one day and go to a show the next and not bat an eyelid.”
“He is a wonderful example of a section B and it was a privilege to send him to Olympia,” confirms Janet. “He has enough substance for a native but he shows riding type quality. He has a very typey head, too.
“I have judged other ponies with his prefix and if I were looking to buy a section B it would be a stud I’d visit.”
Jennie says: “His head is well set on through the throat and he’s not too thick. He’s got a lovely dishy face, a tapering muzzle, little ears and a big, kind eye. His neck is beautifully curved and comes out of the wither well.”
Performance and movement
“What this pony has most of all is presence,” enthuses Jennie Loriston-Clarke, who has placed Chip to win in both showing and dressage. “Good horses make you turn around and have another look and he certainly does this.
“His rider, Sam, should be really proud of producing him the way she has. She never over-trots or pushes him; she just lets him be natural.”
Janet Bushell judged the performance section of the Olympia qualifier at Royal Windsor in 2014 and says: “He walked forward into the ring with interest and enthusiasm which attracted me to him.
“His individual show combined flare, obedience and star quality. I was surprised to discover that he was only a four- year-old; he was very content with his surroundings and he seemed to enjoy being ridden. Also, in view that he’s a stallion, it would be hoped that he’d pass his willingness, temperament and trainability onto his stock.”
“Everything flows in a lovely way,” says Jennie. “He has a good, deep body though is possibly a little too covered.”
“I judged him as a young four-year-old and he’s matured a lot,” says Janet. “Due to the time in the season he is quite rounded in the hindquarters. Some show animals are often fattened to improve poor back ends or weak outlines, but this pony is a good shape so doesn’t need any additional weight.”
Limbs and feet
“He has enough bone for his breed,”says Jennie.“His legs look very clean and he stands well. The shoulder is well placed, though it could possibly be more fine up to the wither.
“He’s very good in the loin area as well as on his stifle down to the hindleg. He’s got short cannon bones with fine pasterns and feet.”
Janet confirms: “He stands four square on good feet. I always judge from the bottom upwards as I was brought up with the old adage of ‘no foot, no horse’. He has quality limbs with adequate bone. His hindlegs are powerful, too.”
Also published in H&H 4 March 2021
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