Meet Six Perfect Plaited Ponies up for Pardus Wealth Pony of the Year

Wilderness Early Bird

Wilderness Early Bird, or Birdie, and young rider Mia Donaldson have had a wonderful run in the 148cm show pony and partbred classes under the careful tutorage of producers Kirsty Pickles and Alex Ahern. This season, they have marked Mia’s final year in the class by winning the show pony class at the RIHS for the third time and championship for the second time. They also won the partbred championship for the second time, and to top it all, took the pony supreme. For the second time!

Ardenhall Blenheim

Ardenhall Blenheim is owned by Jenny Harker and produced by Jenny’s daughter Victoria Harker. Known as Joules at home, the Harkers found themselves unable to part with Joules when both Victoria and younger sister Emma were out of class. Afterall, he had already stood second with Emma at HOYS and given two young riders brilliant experiences of RIHS and HOYS. Therefore, they asked young Lola Carabine, 10, to take the reins and she did so with panache. Joules and Lola gave impressive performances to take the Children’s Riding Pony of the Year title at HOYS, and were utterly charming in the supreme, with Joules waiting patiently for Lola to cross and uncross her stirrups in the electric atmosphere.

Ennis Boy

Known as Russel to his friends and family, 153cm working hunter pony Ennis Boy retired at HOYS on a high, winning his class standing reserve champion under his long-term partner, Ellie Callwood. Now 17 years old, he also won and took champion at the Burghley Sports Pony final in September, adding yet another title to his impressive tally which includes championships far and wide, from the BSPS championships to Royal Dublin Horse Show. They’ve also been former runners up at Horse of the Year Show and were second at the RIHS earlier this season scoring the highest jump mark of the class. A true all-rounder, Russel also hunts and team chases and will continue to do so after his retirement from the show ring.

Noble Peppermint

12-year-old Pepper partnered HOYS debutante Elsie Lynch,10, to a dream HOYS. First of all they won the 133cm working hunter pony class, then took section championship and without so much as a naughty thought, Pepper went on to give a charming account of herself in the supreme judging to take the pony supreme. The pair have had a superb year, with a win at Royal Windsor Horse Show, before qualifying around a testing track at Royal Three Counties and standing second at RIHS. This is the second time she’s achieved the working hunter championship at HOYS having also done so with Ruby Ward in 2018. She remains cared for an produced by the Ward family.

Annandale Phoenix

Two of our finalists completed their final show hunter pony class with their rider at HOYS. The first was the winner of the 122cm class, Annandale Phoenix, owned by Melanie Peters and ridden by Maisie Peters. The 15-year-old started his career as a hunter pony at Team Walker on the lead with Sam, but it ended on a high at HOYS under Maisie, whose infectious grin delighted onlookers when the pair not only won the class, but went on to take reserve champion. Maisie is now out of class, and so Phoenix is set for reinvention as a mountain and moorland working hunter pony.     

Gryngallt Page Too

The second of our finalists who bowed out of the 122cm show hunter pony class at HOYS is Gryngallt Page Too. Owned by Emma Edwards Brady, Billy is ridden by Emma’s son Harry, who is also out of class. Billy first competed at HOYS as a show hunter pony lead rein in 2013 when Harry was just three, and the pair gained fame when Harry was captured waving at crowds. Billy has qualified for HOYS every year since and has been in the top two in the 122cm show hunter pony class since 2018. In fact, he’s won the class twice. He has also won at all major shows including Windsor and the Royal Welsh several times. This year, he and Harry picked up the final ‘bog’ win missing on his result card – the 122cm show hunter pony title at the RIHS, and the pair charmed judge Claire Oliver to win the inaugural Robert Oliver Showman’s Award at the BSPS summer championships.

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