HOYS 2018: National Pony Society/Snuggy Hoods Working Hunter Pony of the Year

Eight-year-old Sports Pony, Noble Peppermint, kept his cool throughout day three of Horse of the Year Show (HOYS) to claim the overall National Pony Society/Snuggy Hoods Working Hunter Pony of the Year after winning the 133cm section in style. Owned by Cheshire’s Kelly Ward, it was 11-year-old daughter Ruby in the saddle, fresh from her M&M Working Hunter Pony win and Reserve Champion title on their own Blackhill Imogen.

Kelly said: “This is their first season together. We’ve owned him since he was four but he’s been leased out for a couple of years, as he was too big for Ruby. He’s got a heart of gold.” The pony is home produced and the pair do a little of everything at home including show jumping and arena eventing.

Dumfriesshire’s Hannah Sloan rode her own Tinkas Flash to a win in the first section of the day, the Intermediates, before going on to claim overall reserve champion; a fantastic end to Hannah’s career in Intermediates. She took the Champion title at HOYS last year on the chestnut gelding who is now 16-years-old.

“He jumped well this morning,” said Hannah. “The course was up to height, technical and asked plenty of questions.”

Essex’s Eddis family celebrated another win in the 153cm section. A regular at HOYS, Cashel Bay JJ, now aged 15, gave Lucy a fabulous last ride at HOYS on him. Lucy is in her second year of university and her sister Susie will now fully take over the ride on Cash.

Among Cash and Lucy’s placings at HOYS are overall Champion M&M Working Hunter Pony in 2016, and first in their Working Hunter Pony section in 2016 and 2017. “You never let yourself think you can do it again,” said Lucy speaking after the class. “He’s just the most gifted pony.”

It was a long journey worth making for the Beaumont family and Jan Beaumont’s Connemara mare Edie. They took the 143cm section coming all the way from their home in Northern Ireland. Phoebe Beaumont has been with the 13-year-old grey mare for four years and this was her first ride at HOYS.