For the second year running, a Highland pony has won the prestigious NPS Baileys ridden mountain and moorland pony of the year championship at Olympia.
Last year, Jo Jack’s Dunedin Harris triumphed but this time, it was owner/rider Lizzie Briant who captured the honours with her home-produced seven-year-old stallion, Snowydene.
The win was all the more remarkable as thiswonderful, steady grey has been used at stud and was still in novice ranks at the beginning of the season. Here, however, he gave an exemplary performance ahead of an exceptionally strong field.
Lizzie also became the first rider to win with two different breeds, having taken the title in 1992 with the Fell, Lunesdale Lucky Lady.
“I didn’t expect this one to be so good, so soon, ” said an overwhelmed Lizzie, who bought him in Scotland two years ago. “I have only brought him on slowly!”
Scottish-based Richard Telford took runner-up spot with Bill Ireland’s home-bred Dales mare, Kilmannan Black Pearl.
This six-year-old mare, by the prolific stallion Slaypits Black Magic, is in her first ridden season but also won at HOYS and was champion at NPS area 29, East Anglian Natives and Gleneagles. Bill Ireland also received the trophy for the best owner/bred large breed in the final.
Sam Darlington’s lovely Dartmoor, Pantmanrs Jog-on, stood third after giving a correct, flowing show, and Claire Light’s welsh section B, Longhalves Sword of Gold, took the small breeds owner/bred trophy in fourth.
The Youngs’ New Forest, Farriers Drummer Boy, was fifth, and Julie Robinson’s Fell mare, Lunesdale Rowan, stood sixth.