Home-produced ponies have a new chance to compete for big money this summer with the introduction of a new £1,000- to-the-winner showing class.
The Dalton Stud Supreme Pretty Polly Ridden Championship will take place on 16 July at the North of England Summer Pony Show at Arena UK, Grantham.
Judge and producer Stuart Hollings, who with his brother Nigel runs the North of England Championships, is looking forward to the new class.
“It’s very exciting — the Fieldmaster supreme amateur ridden show horse championship last year was extremely well received so we’re pleased to welcome a similar concept for ponies.
“At £1,000, it is one of the biggest prizes in showing so it should get a good reception.”
Lorna Fitzgerald from Dalton Stud sponsors the championship.
“We home-produced ponies for years and felt something was missing. All the North of England championships are very successful and prestigious and we thought this was a good chance to give something back.”
Polly Ennis’s daughters have competed in Pretty Polly classes in the past.
“Although I really enjoy competing against the professionals, this sounds like a wonderful opportunity and the spectacular prize-fund will be a huge encouragement to home producers,” she said.
There will be 26 qualifiers at British Show Pony Society (BSPS) shows, with details to be announced later this month.
The final is open to whichever ponies qualify at the shows — show ponies, show hunter ponies, lead-rein, first ridden, intermediate and even working hunter ponies or mountain
“We could get a full range of BSPS ponies,” said Stuart, adding: “We’re running the championship under the Pretty Polly rules — it’s a tried and tested system.”
For more information on the new class visit www.northofenglandshows.co.uk
This article was first published in the current issue of Horse & Hound, 6 January 2011