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Hunter ponies take centre stage at Royal International Horse Show

Ponies from the 143cm show hunter pony section stood both champion and reserve on the second day of the Royal International Horse Show at Hickstead. Jane Findlow’s Ellenbrook Master Plan took the tricolour over Debbie Thomas’s Greylands Stardust.

Charlotte Thompson proved an able deputy for Ellenbrook Master Plan’s regular jockey Becky Findlow, who arrived feeling ill after flying into Gatwick Airport from a holiday in Italy. Although shown lightly this season, Master Plan, a seven-year-old by Strinesdale Matador, has claimed championships at Cheshire County and Midland Counties.

The long journey from Dumfries in Scotland paid dividends for Start Sloan, who claimed the working hunter pony tricolour riding Highgrove Valentino, who produced one of only three clears in the 153cm class. In his fourth season with the Haarlam nine-year-old, Stuart recently clinched the title at Royal Highland, and he is also qualified for the intermediate, and open horse classes here at Hickstead.

The reserve went to 10-year-old Emily Ward riding the ultimate schoolmaster Stambrook Pavarotti, who has won here four times in all, with different jockeys. This combination was tipped as one-to-watch in H&H’s RIHS preview.

Sam Darlington’s Wortley Celebration headed a strong lead rein pony of hunter type class for Scarlett Jewson. The five-year-old pony also claimed third place in the 122cm class for his regular rider Georgia Darlington, who is now out of lead rein. Standing top of the 122cm line up was Tarryn Rudd riding Duntarvie Yogi.

Stephanie Zebedee and Piatza claimed top spot in the pure bred Arabian class. The grey stallion had claimed his Royal International ticket on his only other outing this season, at Wales & West.

  • Stay in touch with all the showing highlights from the RIHS on Horseandhound.co.uk throughout the show
  • Don’t miss “H&H Live” during tomorrow’s popular Eventing Grand Prix class. Register now for a reminder
  • Pick up next Thursday’s Horse & Hound for our special 13-page report on all the action from the RIHS

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