‘He’s her little unicorn’: true child’s pony wins SEIB Search For A Star supreme title at Your Horse Live

  • The inaugural SEIB Search For A Star (SFAS) Your Horse Live supreme championship was won by lead rein pony Thistledown Elpaso and his seven-year-old rider.

    Thistledown Elpaso, who is known as Elvis at home, is owned by Heather Hiscox and ridden by her daughter, Emily, who is a member of North Warwickshire Pony Club.

    Just 24 hours earlier they’d made SFAS history by winning the very first SEIB SFAS Pony Club lead rein final.

    “We’re on cloud nine,” said Heather, who led the pair to win the ridden championship en route to the overall supreme. “All the finalists are so beautiful so we said we’d just go and enjoy the supreme today. I can’t believe this. Elvis is Emily’s little unicorn.”

    During their supreme show, Heather said Emily, who rode a round the world during her show in yesterday’s class, wanted to push the boat out even further to secure the top title:

    “We got home yesterday and Emily said ‘Mummy, I think I should stand up in the saddle; I’ve done it loads of times at home’. And that’s what she did; thankfully, I have full trust in Elvis and even when the crowd clapped he didn’t flinch. We kept our show pretty simple with a figure of eight, incorporating a rein back, too.”

    Elvis was bought by the Hiscox family three years ago from Sarah Anderson. Heather saw him advertised on social media and as he was located in Aberdeen, she bought him unseen.

    “I fell in love with him from the photos so bought him over the phone,” she explained. “He’s been the best pony we could have ever wished for; he’s taken Emily through her lead rein years and she has done everything she could possibly want to do with him. He goes on farm rides, on picnic hacks, to Pony Club camp and he jumps. Emily loves him so much and the bond they have is lovely.”

    The trio qualified for Your Horse Live at Bury Farm.

    “Even though Elvis is smart and he can do the showing classes, he’s a true Pony Club pony and he thrives on variety,” said Heather, who runs Elvis from the family farm. “At home we only have fields to ride in, hence why we need a super-safe pony.”

    This year, Elvis added another string to his bow when he competed in the Pony Club’s virtual musical ride competition.

    “Our team ended up as national reserve champions,” said Heather. “We put in a lot of training over the summer and all the children had such fun with their ponies.”

    Judge Katie Jerram-Hunnable said: “It was a unanimous decision from the judges, myself, Chris Hunnable and Matthew Lawrence. The winning pony’s show was exceptional.”

    Finn Williamson and Port Lou Lou, 2022 SEIB SFAS in-hand champions

    The SEIB SFAS in-hand championship went to 15-year-old Finn Williamson handling Kirsty Spencer’s 13-year-old mare Port Lou Lou (Roxy).

    “I have been so nervous this week,” said Finn. “But it was amazing to win yesterday, and we cracked on today and it all went brilliantly. I’ve got my GCSE’s coming up next year but I hope to fit some intermediate classes in with Roxy.”

    Finn and Roxy were SFAS finalists in the riding horse/hack championship at Horse of the Year (HOYS) show last month and they won at STARS championships last year.

    Conformation judge Matthew Lawrence said: “As soon as this mare entered the ring I thought she was a great type. She has a lovely way of going with fabulous cadence and has been beautifully produced by her enthusiastic handler.”

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