Mare whose dramatic rears made her a social media star wins Blue Chip qualifier *H&H Plus*

  • A “social media mare” leads the charge at Wellington, a 14.2hh puts bigger rivals in the shade and Charley Bevan continues a storming run

    Natasha Swales and her social media star Queen Of Clouds spearheaded a brilliant day out for Julian Mincher’s yard when she topped a one-two-three for their team in the Blue Chip RLF Joint Power qualifier.

    The eight-year-old mare, who is know at home as Mary, picked up a significant Facebook following after Natasha posted a series of videos of her dealing with her rearing and napping.

    “Natasha wasn’t working for me when she bought her, and what she didn’t realise was that she was originally my horse,” Julian said. “I sold her as a four-year-old and later on she went a bit wayward.

    “Natasha has done really well with her and she is good as gold now, we don’t have any problems with her, although she takes a bit of management as she likes things done her own way.”

    Julian’s competition rider Ben Clark collected second and third place, riding Ismira VI, an eight-year-old by Peppermill owned by Thomas Powell, and Carter Rouge, a nine-year-old co-owned by Julian and Suzanne Fowler, who is out of Nicky Boulter’s great Derby horse Magna Carta.

    The yard secured three wins and multiple places with 13 horses and five riders over two days.

    Julian, who has taken a back seat on the competition riding since breaking his neck two years ago, put his breeches back on to steer Calista III to victory in the Blue Chip star qualifier.

    “Abby [Baker], who was meant to be riding her, went into tier four the night before, so I came out of retirement to have a go,” said Julian, who beat another one of his riders, Catherine Housman and Contrichta, into third.

    “Catherine’s been with me for six years and she was riding a horse she recently bought from me. Contrichta’s a nice mare who was super fast, so I didn’t even know if I could beat her,” he added. “Luckily someone slotted in between us so I didn’t feel too bad about winning!”

    Fifteen-year-old Thomas Powell, who has been based at Julian’s for the past year, won the 1.05m with Billy Boycie, while Ben also picked up a second in the 1.40m open on a new 12-year-old, Marina Z, behind Sienna Charles and Havana M. Julian’s nine-year-old stallion DoubleM Chacco collected fourth.

    Ref: 7 January 2021

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