Diminutive Poppy Dorise, 9, is possibly the youngest ever to qualify for the HOYS Blue Chip Pony Newcomers, and she did it in style at South View Equestrian Centre in Cheshire, with Running In Heels.
Underscoring their talent, it was only their third show together and the biggest track they have tackled. Poppy has been jumping the 90cm/1m classes while Tabitha Kyle has produced the pony at a higher level.
“After watching Tabitha and ‘Cally’ at HOYS [Pony Newcomers Final] last year, my dream has been Cally and I would be there,” said Hereford-based Poppy.
A total of 81 competitors came forward to face course-designer Gillian Milner’s 11-fence 1.10m track with these whittled down to 22 for round two and 10 supplied double clears to qualify for the jump-off. Just three provided treble clears, Poppy and the 8-year-old Irish-bred mare were easily the quickest with 6.23 seconds to spare.
“When Tabitha told me I would be jumping at South View as she was competing in Holland I was so excited as I knew ‘Cally’ had been so well produced. The first and second rounds felt amazing and I was confident going into round three,” said Poppy. “Tabitha was calling me with instructions for the jump-off and I had Connie Mensley on hand at the show. Cally is a big jumper with plenty of scope and stride but I still can’t believe I won by six seconds.”
It isn’t the first pony Poppy has qualified for HOYS. Only two weeks earlier, she won the HOYS 138cm qualifier at Arena UK with Lissduff Royal – six years after Tabitha, then aged 9, won the same qualifier at the same venue.
“It’s unbelievable, I’ve got two tickets to HOYS,” said a delighted Poppy.
Imogen Rome piloted Eden Ace into second with Hollie Gerken supplying the only other treble clear for third on Jonkers Keyano. Blue Chip rider Katie Bradburne beat the winning time by almost four seconds on Shovern Inca but a rail down marred their round. Nonetheless, it was still sufficient for fourth place and the final HOYS qualifying place.
NB: Qualifications will be updated pending official grading of results.
South View Equestrian Centre – 3 June, 2023
Blue Chip Pony Newcomers Second Round
1st Poppy Dorise & Running In Heels – 0/0/0 - 44.14 seconds
2nd Imogen Rome & Eden Ace – 0/0/0 - 50.37 seconds
3rd Hollie Gerken & Jonkers Keyano – 0/0/0 50.79 seconds
4th Katie Bradburne & Shovern Inca – 0/0/4 40.22 seconds
Image Credit: Phil Hillier/landscapeandhorses.co.uk