As showing continues to gain momentum post-lockdown, a brace of stunning new combinations come to the fore
BSPS Area 3B training show, Speetley EC, Derbys
Producer Edward Young scored a deserved hat-trick in the show pony classes, with his charges winning all three height sections. Coming out as the eventual champion was the 128cm winner, Claire Smith’s Tuscany Sweet Serenade (Queenie) ridden by Clare’s daughter Cate Mitchell, who celebrated her 11th birthday two days after the show.
Queenie – a Royal Windsor winner as a novice back in 2017 – and Cate are in their first season as a partnership.
“We managed to get to BSPS [British Show Pony Society] Area 6 before lockdown where they got their Hickstead ticket,” explained Edward, who also watched Lexy Laurens and Bankswood Jacaranda win the 148cm and take reserve, as well as Hallie Kerry-Oates and Renedene Morning Star bag the 138cm class.
“We’ve been really lucky as all of our clients kept their animals with us during lockdown,” added Edward. “We kept them ticking over and we’re fortunate to be in the Derbyshire Peak District so have some great bridleways on the doorstep. The babies have seen a bit of the world and the established animals have had a change of scene. It’s also been great for the kids as there’s been no pressure. We are all grateful to those hard-working groups and committees which have made it possible for us to get back into the ring.”
The show hunter pony championship went to the 143cm winner CSF Chantilly Galway Girl (Jessica Reed-Else) while in intermediate ranks it was a win for Roseberry Moment Of Truth (Emily Carroll).
“He’s a natural showman”
A big-moving Welsh section A took the Heritage mountain and moorland (M&M) novice spoils. Five-year-old Menai Anrheg Penblywdd, ridden by Harriet Glenn, is on lease from Heather Seaman and is currently based with Team Rushton.
“PJ qualified for the Royal International with Rebecca Penny in March,” said Harriet’s mother Nicki. “He’s a natural showman. As the season has been cut short, Heather agreed to extend his lease until 2021. We just hope Harriet doesn’t grow too much in the meantime.”
The pair also stood reserve in the open M&M championship to Gemma Scott on Brenda Twining’s 11-year-old mare Welsh section B Pinglewood Golden Locks.
BSPS Area 14 training show, East Bysshe Cross-Country, Surrey
A young lead-rein pony added to her impressive tally by scooping the supreme of show accolade. Five-year-old Barkway Blackberry (Blackie) and Emily Cooper, also five, were in perfect sync to go right through the card with Emily’s father Philip leading.
The trio had an outstanding 2019, remaining virtually unbeaten on the county circuit and standing second at the Royal International final.
“It’s great to be able to lead my own child having led so many others over the past 20 years,” said Philip. “Blackie and Emily really look after each other.”
The pretty mare came directly from breeder Claire Smalley as an unbroken three-year-old, and is based with Philip’s sister and producer Lindsay Hillyard.
Alice Barr showed off the promise of five-year-old Dales gelding Earnwell Elwyn who scored in the novice M&M large breeds before trotting away with the section championship.
“We bought him as a two-year-old and it was his first outing off the yard, except for a beach trip,” said Alice, who was riding Elwyn – who is by Carrock Jack Daniels – for her mother, Debbie. “He’ll hopefully be a contender for the qualifiers next year, though I’d love to see Mum on him as he’s definitely ‘her’ pony.”
If genetics are anything to go by then the plaited pony champion Rotherwood Spring Rain (Hank) – who was making his show ring debut – should go on to achieve great things. The Team Holder-produced 128cm campaigner is a full brother to the multi-HOYS winning Rotherwood Rainmaker being by Rotherwood Peter Pan out of Rotherwood Spring Flower.
Ridden by Amelia Evans, 11, and owned by her grandmother Jane Evans, Hank has been kept under wraps and brought on slowly until his connections felt he was ready.
“Jane has waited three years for this winning moment,” said producer Gayle Holder. “He was bought as a three-year-old colt from Scotland and he hadn’t seen very much of the world. Hank has a temperament to die for and we’re all very excited about him.”
Team Holder also landed the M&M lead-rein and first ridden classes with Yerbeston Copper riding Rocco Lindsay and William Parkin on Newoak Gold Edition.
BSPS Area 1B, Westmorland County Showground, Cumbria
Despite only being partnered for two months, Zara Brookes and new ride Merrycorner Mister Bui won the hunter pony title on their second outing in the ring.
The 153cm superstar – Royal International (RIHS) show hunter pony supreme in 2018 – joined his new family in June and is currently produced by Robert Walker and team.
“I’ve always admired him; he’s a little black beauty,” enthused Zara. “I used to enjoy watching his former rider, Harriet Dennison, gallop him; I’d just think he was incredible.”
Zara was also a winner with the intermediate show riding type Parkgate Royal William, another former Hickstead champion. “I have two special horses and I’m excited to see what we achieve,” said Zara, who will share William’s seat with Robert during 2021.
Olivia Taylor stood hunter pony reserve riding the 143cm winner Moluccas Royal Anise.
Glen Allen scored a double in the intermediates. He started his run with the seven-year-old large riding type Greylands Ace High, who eventually stood reserve champion. He also rode Rachel Helliwell and Harriet Dennison’s show hunter type Kirtle Bertie Bassett to win his class and score the section tri-colour.
BSPS Working Hunter Pony, Northallerton EC, North Yorks
Working hunter ponies were out in force here, with 111 combinations having a crack at the courses on offer.
The novice championship went to 11-year-old Jess Ramsdale riding her own striking 13hh and nursery stakes victor Violetgrange Ray Of Gold (Henry).
The promising seven-year-old was bought from a Facebook advert four years ago and is based with producing dream-team Craig Elenor and Sarah Parrot during the regular show season.
“Henry loves jumping but he’s also a lovely stamp of hunter pony,” said Jessica’s mother Lucy Raw, who watched her daughter make her Royal International debut last year with Henry.
“He’s a lovely person; if you’ve got a drink in your hand it’s not long until his nose is straight in it. Jess’ dream is to get to Horse of the Year Show next year.”
In mini ranks, cradle stakes winners Indiana Kirby and Thistledown Fun-Fair took the section title over Fenella Adams and Dukeshill Dancing Digger.
Megan Stanley piloted her own 15hh Ardwholihane Bouncer to land the open tri-colours over 14hh winner The Pied Piper and Isabella Kirby.
The mountain and moorland title went to William Pittendrigh with his new ride, Peter Page and Samantha Catton’s Welsh section D Owrtyn Dreamcatcher.
Ref Horse & Hound; 13 August 2020