A six-year-old show pony goes all the way to the top – amassing more than £3,000 in prize-money – at this years championships at Peterborough
From more than 15,000 entries, a six-year-old 148cm show pony emerged as supreme champion of this year’s Ponies (UK) Summer Championship show, retaining her sparkle after a day of searing heat to earn her delighted connections more than £3,000.
Oldcourt Balilika (pictured), beautifully ridden by Gemma James and produced by Ron and Debbie Thomas for the Oldcourt Stud, had already lifted the Brineton Open Show Pony title from marathon classes in the afternoon, before she began another triumphant run in the evening performance.
Coming out three times in quick succession, this enchanting pony deservedly stole the show with a series of foot-perfect performances under the spotlights, backed by vociferous support from a packed grandstand.
Balilika was not broken in until last year, but was All-British supreme at BSPS and fourth at Horse of the Year Show. This term’s tally includes titles at Three Counties, Wessex, Pembroke and the Welsh Championships.
On her way to the supreme award, she impressed nine different judges, opening her campaign with the Wharf Open Show Pony title, continuing with the Ron Hayes Supreme Ridden Championship – where she faced 20 other champions – and the Cooper Champion of Champions.
The Hindley Trophy, where she took on the supreme in-hand, brought a magical night to a close.
Julie Rucklidge’s lovely home-produced broodmare, Jackets Maydream, a former HOYS winner and champion ridden show ponyon this very spot, stood reserve after landing the supreme in-hand award and a cheque for £1,000.
This was the icing on the cake, because she had earlier won an exceptionally strong Breeders’ Challenge to claim her first HOYS in-hand ticket.
Read the full report in this week’s Horse & Hound (29 August 2002), or click here to subscribe and enjoy Horse & Hound delivered to your door every week.
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