The Queen’s Balmoral Leia Crowned Champion

The Queen’s Highland pony mare, Balmoral Leia was crowned overall mountain and moorland accolade on day two of Royal Windsor Horse Show by judge, David Puttock.

Henry Hird with Balmoral Leia

Five-year-old Leia won her breed class and championship en route to the supreme title. She is by Balmoral Lord, whom producer Lizzie Briant explained sadly died of grass sickness, and she’s out of Balmoral Melody who was successfully shown under saddle by Lizzie, including at Royal Windsor.

Lizzie showed the true-to-type, feminine Leia to win the breed championship, but Henry Hird took over showing for the overall mountain and moorland championship. Incidentally Henry also lifted the same last year, albeit with Vanessa Compton’s exquisite Connemara mare, Skaelgaardens Delicious Love.

The Queen was ringside to watch Leia win the breed championship and was also present to witness her land the overall championship, much to the crowd’s delight. This was the third win of the show and third win with a home-bred for the Queen, with Katie Jerram-Hunnable’s team having already produced Daydream III and Sunbeam to win their classes yesterday.

In reserve for the overall mountain and moorland accolade and overall Welsh breeds champion was Mark and Liz Kilbey’s Springbourne Capricorn. The plucky Welsh section A is leased from the Singles stud in Holland. Since joining the Kilbeys at their Idyllic stud at the end of 2018, Capricorn has enjoyed countelss successes, including an impressive four reserve championships in Cuddy/ Price Family supreme final qualifiers. “He’s always the bridesmaid,” joked handler Mark Kilbey, “but we’re delighted with him”. Now 11 years old, the Cascob Red Kite son is also producing pleasing stock who are showring winners in their own right.

Springbourne Capricorn

First reserve was Lynda Calcutt’s 15-year-old evergreen Shilstone Rocks North Westerly. The Dartmoor stallion was shown by Chloe Chubb, who we are more used to seeing in the saddle having formerly ridden Windy to three HOYS Dartmoor Pony of the Year titles as well as Best of Breed at Olympia. Windy has also been shown in hand successfully in the past, qualifying for the Cuddy final in 2015 and 2017. Lynda and Chloe explained that as Windy had been busy covering, they were unsure whether or not to show him. “It was intended that he’d do some Cuddy qualifiers again after he retired from the ridden,” said Chloe, “But then COVID came and it never happened. I’d never done the in-hand classes at Windsor, so messaged Lynda to ask if we could enter Windy. I thought it would at least be a nice day out!” In fact, it proved to be just that and more, with Chloe explaining she “felt quite emotional” to be reunited with her old friend.   

Shilstone Rocks North Westerly

The following ponies also clinched championships of their own…

Tracey North’s Burley Burberry topped the New Forest contenders, shown by Dain Atherden

Philip Ward Burton showed Christy Seaman’s lovely three-year-old Dales filly to the breed championship.

David Hodge and Julian Walters’ Blackthorn Poldark clinched the Exmoor championship

Aimee Devane and Rachel Cooper’s Connemara stallion Glencarrig Camelot took the breed tricolour.

Hope Fisher’s Foalsyke Little Topper powered round the ring to take the Fell championship with Poppy Fisher.

The Welsh section C championship headed home with Tony Newman and his own young stallion Llanmorlais Dynamite.

Janpete Class Act and his owner April Gilmartin clinched the Welsh section B title.

Tracey Gowan’s Blaidd Tynam was shown by Chelsea Gowan to head the Welsh section D championship.

Mandy Sergeant’s Champlers Ellie was the smallest champion forwards for the overall championship having taken the Shetland title.

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