Friday’s showing action comprised the NPS Scotland Finals and Silver Medal Championships.
Among the early winners were Lanark-based Lauren Connor and her five year-old Welsh Section B stallion Moelview Oslo Warrior, aka Bear, who were crowned NPS Scotland/Kilmannan Stud M&M Novice Ridden Champions and then went on to win the Open Ridden section for Welsh Section A&B ponies.
“He’s a very good example of what a Welsh Section B pony should look like,” commented the Judges, “and for a stallion he has a really good temperament.”
Lauren Jarvis and her own Gems The Troublemaker became M&M WHP Champions ahead of Kloe Smith and Edwyns Royal Rocket: “I’m just ecstatic” beamed Lauren, who juggles producing and showing ponies with a career as a Merchandiser.
Kirsy Aird added another Blair Castle win to her belt when she piloted Cheryl MacKintosh’s Connemara gelding to victory in the NPS/The Nicholls Family M&M Ridden Silver Medal Championship while Victoria Headspeath and the Highland mare Sorn Sula became NPS/Blackertor & Sharptor Studs M&M In-hand Silver Medal Rosette champions.
10 year-old Naomi Archibald from Perth and her Mother’s Welsh Section B mare Annandale Maria also had a fantastic day. They took class 24, the M&M Junior Ridden Final for Dartmoor, Exmoor, Shetland and Welsh Sections A&B and later won the NPS/Nicholls Family Ridden M&M Championship.
The stunning grey Highland stallion, Dunedin Iolare, shown by Blair Castle stalwart Christopher Grant became overall M&M In-Hand Champion. The seven-year-old was bred by Ann Mitchell and is by Moss-side Iain Mor out of Dunedin Fiona. Iolare qualified at The Royal Highland Show and has also been busy as a working stallion, siring five fillies and one colt so far this year: “His best quality is his temperament,” commented Christopher. “He was fast asleep while we were waiting outside the ring between classes.”
Probably the youngest winner of the day was six-year-old Francesca Mair who, with the able support of Mum Shannon, headed the large field in the M&M Lead Rein final aboard strawberry roan Lingardswood Sarsaprilla. The pair were later crowned Mini Champions and Reserve Supreme Champions. “She’s a very well-mannered pony,” commented the Judges, “an ideal lead rein pony.”
Carmen Durick and Strathmore Imperial Guard built on their successful day yesterday by firstly being crowned M&M Open Ridden Champions and then scooping the overall NPS Scotland Supreme Blair Castle Pony of the Year title.
New this year, this class was open to all Champion and Reserve Champion ponies from every ridden and in-hand section and was judged by International event rider Nicola Wilson: “He’s a really lovely stamp of a horse,” commented Nicola. “He was very balanced and put together, he moved well and looked like a nice kind type.”
Photo: Francesca Mair and Lingardswood Sarsaprilla