A determined young rider was crowned GS Equestrian Leading Pony Showjumper at Horse of the Year Show (HOYS) thanks to “making a plan and sticking to it”.

Tynedale-based Poppy Deakin said she achieved a showjumping career dream by winning the highly contested-class, where just three combinations from 27 starters made the jump off.

Armene du Costilg nailed a winning clear for Poppy in 36.63 seconds, with Ruby Barrs and Casper XXII taking second, and third place going to Sophie Evans on Oscar van de Beekerheide.

“I made a plan before the jump-off and stuck to it,” 15-year-old Poppy said. “I tried not to go too fast, but fast enough to win it.

“I can’t believe I have won – it has always been a dream. This is my last year on this pony, so it was great to go out with a good one.

“As I went into the jump-off, I had to forget about my nerves, and this really does mean the world to me. Since I was 12, I have been coming here, and I have always wanted to win a purple rug.”

The Blue Chip Pony Newcomers Championship was taken by Tabitha Kyle, who completed a hat-trick of HOYS titles. Tabitha claimed a double in the 128cm and 138cm pony classes three years ago aboard Coppenhagh Khalessi.

A jump off time of 28.77 seconds, saw them winning by more than three seconds ahead of runner-up Ruby Barrs and Conella, with Fergal Holohan finishing third on Little Flexible.

“My pony has never been in a ring like this before – nowhere with a big crowd – so I had no idea what to expect from her, but she went in there and jumped amazingly,” said Tabitha. “She did everything I asked for in the arena. She turned when I wanted, she jumped when I wanted.

“I have accomplished a lot – there are so many people I want to thank – and it is always amazing to win at this show.”

Lead image by 1st Class Images

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