It was a night to remember on day two of Horse of the Year Show (HOYS) as HRH Princess Anne made a very special appearance to present the prizes of the prestigious NPS/Baileys Horse Feeds Mountain & Moorland Ridden Pony of the Year Championship. As a past competitor, judge and visitor, HRH the Princess Royal has made many appearances at HOYS over the years.
It was Kelly Jones’ quality Connemara, Skaergaardens Delicious Love – ‘Delicious’ for short – who took the prestigious accolade, with Welsh Section D Ballynacoy Prince, owned and ridden by Beth Simons, in Reserve.
Delicious, who is entirely home produced, was the third five-year-old of the day to take a Championship title here at HOYS – proving that youngsters know how to shine in the ring. Kelly bought the mare last year from Denmark and drove to collect the pony herself. They’ve only been to a handful of shows since then so qualifying first time out for HOYS was a huge achievement.
“It’s phenomenal,” said Kelly. “I didn’t know what to expect. She thinks she’s a princess but once you make her work she does her job.”
Reserve Champion Ballynacoy Prince was triumphant in the Welsh Section D class having qualified at the National Welsh Championship Show. The dun stallion is by Ballynacoy Keltic Warrior out of Budore Bo Peep.
The Championship was a culmination of nine class sections split over the last two days. With first and second prize winners invited forward to the final, it’s the perfect chance to view Britain’s finest native breeds being put through their paces one last time, as the judges choose their overall winner.