An Exmoor pony and a New Forest pony stood RBST Rare Breed Supreme Champions at Norfolk Equestrian Show.

‘At Risk’ champion Marleydenes Miriam

It was the first time the Rare Breeds Survival Trust (RBST) ‘Priority’ and ‘At Risk’ breed classes were part of the show, which took place on 28 July.

Of the 19 entrants, seven of the 12 breeds eligible to take part were represented, including a Fell, Highland, Dales, Dartmoor and Cleveland Bay.

The RBST At Risk Breeds Supreme Championship title went to Marleydenes Miriam, a four-year-old New Forest mare owned by the Pritchers and shown by Abigail Staff.

Abigail is a huge advocate of the New Forest breed and has three at her Grantham yard.

“They are extremely loyal and versatile,” said Abigail, who won a native title at Horse of the Year Show in 2015 on a New Forest pony. “We can’t afford to lose the native breeds. It’s important to bring them out to shows like this so that more people can see and appreciate them.”

‘Rare breeds are special’

The winning Exmoor pony, Threeshires Edgar (pictured top), is a nine-year-old gelding bred and owned by Liz Barker and shown by Susannah Muir.

He stood RBST Priority Breeds Supreme Champion.

“This was only his second big show and he was perfect,” said Susannah, who is based near Colchester. “He wants to please and will try anything.”

The show was held behind closed doors at Norfolk Showground by the Royal Norfolk Agricultural Association, in association with RBST.

“It has been fantastic to see so many of the UK’s rare native breeds showcased,” said Christopher Price, chief executive at the RBST.

“I congratulate all the winners, and I thank all the competitors for showing that our rare breeds are special, not only for their past service and heritage but also for the achievement and joy they can bring today and in the future.”

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