It was Welsh day on the polo fields at the Land Rover Horse of the Year Show today. Competition started early with the in-hand classes and finished with the first ridden pony in the early evening! We will have a separate post about the ridden classes in the morning.
There were some beautiful ponies on display, and plenty of work went into their presentation. A lot of people were on hand to see their precious ponies parade, with a large number of children watching.
Patron of the Welsh Pony section, Ngaire Crocket, was on hand to help present the prizes. Ngaire was instrumental in getting the Welsh section into HOY, in either 2002 or 2003; she can’t quite remember! “I rang the Hansons, and said ‘What about a Welsh section?” and their reply was that if I wanted to organise it, they would look at it.” With such a challenge, it wasn’t long before Welsh ponies became a popular part of the show, with big classes most years. Ngaire has been especially impressed with the standard of part-breds at this show, and her opinion is reinforced by the two judges, Sally Brunton and Sharron Lewis-Tipping.
As well as presenting prizes, Ngaire was part of a victorious team when a pony she bred won a title class. Ngalaire Final Light is owned by daughter Lynaire Cottle, and won the Fairview Stud In-hand Partbred Welsh Adult Exhibit of the Year, under the guiding hand of Brandon Est. By Kolbeach Rembrandt, she is out of Nalia Might Light, who won every Welsh award going.
Ngalaire Final Light has won the youngstock award for two years in a row, so the team was delighted when she took out the adult class at her first attempt. She is going to be broken in now and Lynaire is hoping to find a little rider to continue her show career.
Many of this year’s Welsh titles went to competitors well-known in the show jumping circles, whether it be recent, current or some time ago! The Rosedene Stud Partbred Welsh Youngstock Exhibit of the Year went to Lou White’s Springdale Mister Grey. Lou said that this was her first time in a showing section at HOY, but she competed in show jumping before she was married, under her maiden name, Lou Southey.
Lou bought three-year-old ‘Harry’ as a weanling, in preparation for when her three children are ready to start riding. Her oldest, Milly, is just four, and has just started doing lead rein classes, winning a couple of ribbons during the season.
For Melanie Dudding, her pony Jubilee Popeyes Image winning the Rankin Family Purebred Youngstock Exhibit of the Year was just the tonic she needed. Melanie was competing yesterday in the show hunter section, and had a bad fall on her horse Country Vogue, injuring her shoulder to the point where she will not be doing any more show hunter classes at the show and was unable to present the pony today. “I even got a new outfit – navy with a little red trim – for the occasion,” said Melanie. “And a new hat!” Ashleigh Santo stepped in to do the presentation of the palomino pony in the title class and Melanie’s groom, Selene, ended up wearing the outfit, as she was going to fill in for Melanie in other classes.
The Freeman Concrete Purebred Welsh Adult Exhibit of the Year was won by the delightful grey Whistledown Lily Marlene, owned by well-known show jumping family, the Prestons from Wainuiomata, Wellington. Lisa did the handling and presentation today, but son William was the most delighted of the team when ‘his’ pony won! The Prestons have had five-year-old Lily since she was three; she has been broken in and is doing her first year of lead rein with Will – the pair went on to finish third in the lead rein class later in the day! Next year the plan is to have two children in the lead rein class! Lily was bred by Karen Blakelock from Taranaki.
Andrew is also fully involved with the showing, after being very successful in show jumping and even representing NZ in a young rider team. Lisa also had great show jumping record. “It may be a bit of a laugh for some of our old show jumping mates to see us doing this, but they can’t help admit that the Welsh ponies (and our kids) are cute,” she says. Today’s title-winner Lily is also very much a family pony. “Our one-year-old tries to wash her legs, and she works hard at birthday parties on the lead rein.”
With their good equestrian background, Lisa and Andrew do all the pony preparation themselves, rather than buy their children ready-made ponies. “We do it all, from breeding to breaking them in,” Lisa says.
It was lovely to see all the generations involved with this glorious breed of children’s pony. As Patron Ngaire Crocket says, Welsh ponies are known for their ideal temperament and conformation as children’s ponies. They are part of the family and create a great foundation for children to build their equestrian activities on.
Rosedene Stud Tracy and John Martin, Partbred Welsh Youngstock Exhibit of the Year
- Springdale Mister Grey, Lou White
- Rotherwood Peep to The Stars, KS Show Horses (Best Handler)
- KL Jean Claude, Fiona Honeyman (Best Presented)
- RP Centre Stage, Leesa Anderson
- Vale Summer Rain, Belinda Sorenson
- Uptown Maybe Baby, Yvonne Watson
Rankin Family Purebred Youngstock Exhibit of the Year
- Jubilee Popeyes Image, Melanie Dudding
- Koroway Dreams of Me, Clayton Stephan (Best Handler)
- Black Creek Nazrah, Andrea Hutching
- Onika Black Magic, Jade Zuppicich (Best Presented)
- Springdale Periwinkle, Kimmy Earnshaw
Coroview Stud Partbred Welsh Adult Exhibit of the Year
- Ngalaire Final Light, Lynaire Cottle
- Number 149 (not in the programme or on Equestrian Entries)
- Silverlock Amistad, Amanda Berridge (Best Presented, Best Handler – Lucy Dagnall)
- Number 786 (not in the programme or on Equestrian Entries)
- Number 596 (not in the programme or on Equestrian Entries)
- Willow Park China Blue, Kerry Sanders
Freeman Concrete Purebred Welsh Adult Exhibit of the Year
- Whistledown Lily Marlene, Lisa Preston
- Brecon Bach Seal, Lucy Dagnall
- Glynmawr Silver Tussock, Sinead Gordon
- Waimai Captivation, Alice Speedy
- Sovereign Spring Charm, Jade Zuppicich
- Mangakaraa Holly, Mel McGovern