Horse & Hound
Golden oldies shine bright
The Veteran Horse Society hosts its annual celebration of senior show animals, while scopey jumping ponies are rewarded at their own fixture
National Veteran Championships, Arena UK, Lincs
A PHYSICS teacher and her 18-year-old Fell pony stallion went through the card to land the ridden supreme. Georgie Lewis-Roberts and Waverhead Dazzler II (Possum) have been together for seven-and-a-half years and have enjoyed multiple successes including performing at Horse of the Year Show (HOYS) in The Showing Register (TSR) masterclass and qualifying for the Royal International (RIHS).
“He’s my first-ever stallion,” said Georgie. “I bought him just after my father passed away. As soon as I saw him I fell in love.”
Possum lives at home in Georgie’s back garden.
“He always tries for me; if I’m having a bad day he’ll just take change and get on with his job,” she added. “When I was finishing my university degree his stable was the only place I could relax so I took my revision there.
“We’ll do some more Hickstead qualifiers next season; he’s so happy in his work that we won’t stop until he wants to.”
Reserve for the mountain and moorland supreme accolade was a delighted Samantha Norris leading her own 26-year-old
Welsh section A mare Maesglas Lili Wen (Poppy).
Samantha loaned Poppy as a companion seven years ago and the striking palomino was then gifted to her as a 21st birthday present.
“I only started showing her in 2016,” explained Samantha. “Unfortunately, the following year she did a tendon. The prognosis wasn’t good and I was heartbroken to think she may never be sound enough to compete again. We turned her away with the help of her previous owners and an open mind.
She recovered amazingly and has since gone on to qualify for Olympia twice.”
Samantha and Poppy also compete in working hunter classes and in the dressage arena.
“She has really come out of
“He’s so happy in his work that we won’t stop until he wants to”
GEORGIE LEWIS-ROBERTS ON WAVERHEAD DAZZLER II
herself in the past couple of years,” added Samantha. “You can hear her before you see her. She loved her trot around the indoor far too much. She really tested my running skills.”
The show horse championship went to Danie French’s adored 20-year-old maxi cob Ueejit (Slim) and veterinary nurse Nikki Randles. The upstanding grey gelding has recently forayed into cob classes after being previously shown as a heavyweight hunter.
Danie has owned him since 2009 and his career highlights include qualifying for HOYS as a hunter in 2012 as well as multiple RIHS appearances.
“When I got him he was a bit of an obnoxious, rude giant,” said Danie, who works for a biomedical company. “I prefer to jump but a few people suggested I show him; on his first outing as a heavyweight he qualified for HOYS at Kent County. That year I started a ‘get Slim to HOYS’ fund and everyone in the village helped get him to the NEC.
“Everyone who meets him just loves him; he has his own fan club.
“We decided to hog him last year and he qualified for Hickstead again. He’s just a legend. Nikki loves showing so it’s been really great that she’s been able to ride him for me.”