‘The first time I saw her was at Knutsford services’: Producer’s future ridden horse bags in-hand title *H&H Plus*

  • A star of the future was crowned in-hand coloured champion at Royal Windsor today, and her owner thinks she’s the next big thing...

    A three-year-old filly won her youngstock class en route to the overall coloured in-hand title at Royal Windsor Horse Show today (1 July) giving her owner a first Windsor championship.

    Cheshire-based producer Vicky Smith and her partner Alan Marnie’s young plaited horse Ashlea Perfect Spirit reigned over the reserve choice, Terri Guyett’s SD Prince four-year-old traditional pony Wystone Fancy Pants.

    Spirit, who is by Free Spirit out of Freckleton Perfect, was bought as a yearling from her breeder Ashley Anderson.

    “She’s my next Bart,” said Vicky, comparing the elegant filly to the former H&H cover star and two-time Horse of the Year Show winner, who remains unbeaten this season. “My friend Cathy Wood had seen a picture of a filly on Facebook and told me to buy her, so we bought her unseen. Ashley dropped her off while she was on her way to HOYS in 2018; the first time I saw Spirit was at Knutsford services.”

    Spirit was left to mature in the field up until this year, and at Derbyshire Festival in June she was crowned sports horse champion. She will head to the Great Yorkshire Show (13-16 July) and the Coloured Horse and Pony Society championships before another break.

    “We’ve started to back her and she’s been sat on,” added Vicky, who has her ridden show horses at Windsor set to compete later in the week. “Her sire, Free Spirit, is by Jumbo so I always thought that if she doesn’t show she could jump so she’ll always have a job.”

    Horse & Hound magazine, out every Thursday, is packed with all the latest news and reports, as well as interviews, specials, nostalgia, vet and training advice. Find out more about getting the magazine delivered to your door every week. Catch the full report from the 2021 Royal Windsor Horse Show in the 8 July issue and keep up to date with all the action from the show at horseandhound.co.uk

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