Highland stallion is crowned M&M champion at Olympia

  • JUDGES Alan Robertson (ride) and Sue Hide (conformation) awarded the 2008 NPS Baileys Mountain and Moorland Supreme Ridden Championship at Olympia to Melanie Stanford’s nine-year-old Highland stallion, Torrin Of Croila, ridden by Mathew Lawrence.

    Bred in Scotland, by Cameron Ormiston, Torrin is the fifth Highland to win this most prestigious of M&M ridden titles since its inception in 1978. His sire, Cameron’s Colin Of Knick Tom Wittensee, was also a former Olympia qualifier.

    Conformation judge Sue Hide, said “The champion was a very free-moving pony — something I like — and beautifully produced. He is a different type of Highland, but very good of his type. I liked him a lot.

    “Generally, the standard was very high and a great thrill for anyone coming here, and a great thrill for me to judge it.”

    Reserve to Torrin was Edwina Waller’s Welsh section A stallion, Delami Destiny, ridden by Katy Marriott-Payne. Destiny, who qualified at the NPS Spring Festival, is in his second season under saddle and was third at Olympia in 2007, taking the best small breed and best owner-bred titles. Also a big winner in-hand, the stallion is siring many winners.

    In third was Gill Simpson’s Dales gelding, Kilmannan Black Wizard, bred by Bill Ireland, by Slaypits Black Magic out of Trimdon Black Velvet. In a great year, Black Wizard also qualified for the Royal International and Horse of the Year Show (HOYS).

    Charlene Richardson’s owner-ridden Welsh cob mare, Drumacre Lloer Solo (Llanarth Solo-Botvyle April Moon) took fourth spot. Known as “Anthea” at home, the mare was making her third Olympia appearance and has been best of breed each time. She has also been placed at HOYS four times.

    Standing fifth was Lickfolds Snowstorm (Shilstone Rocks Snowman-Shilstone Rocks Sweetheart), the first grey Dartmoor to qualify for the Olympia final. Another pony enjoying a hugely successful season, Snowstorm has been supreme at two breeds shows, champion at Devon Country and the Dartmoor, Exmoor, and Shetland pony of the year.

    Bred on Dartmoor, Snowstorm is hunted regularly with the Silverton Foxhounds near Exeter. He is owned by the Newbery and Lampard families.

    Sixth place went to the Dales, Castlehill Flash (Stoneriggs Alick-Castlehill Beauty), who qualified at the breed show for the third successive year, ridden by Dain Atherden. In 2007, “Hairy”, as he is known at home, was best of breed and reserve champion at the RIHS.

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