Coco Bongo is the National Pony Society/Snuggy Hoods Working Hunter Pony of the Year

Coco Bongo is the National Pony Society/Snuggy Hoods Working Hunter Pony of the Year

William Calder’s 10-year-old grey mare, Coco Bongo (Bluebell), delighted her support team on day three of Horse of the Year Show (HOYS) when she was crowned National Pony Society/Snuggy Hoods Working Hunter Pony of the Year.

Chloe Lemieux rode Bluebell to success in the 133cm section earlier in the day. Clinching the Championship was a thrilling end to a season of 133cm classes for this combination, while William’s daughter Jessica is currently riding Bluebell in Nursery Stakes classes.

The mare has been very consistent this season, placed second with both Chloe and Jessica in the 133cm and Nursery Stakes respectively at the Royal International Horse Show, and winning both classes at the Royal Highland Show. Jessica will now progress with her next season.

Reflecting on seeing one of his ponies become a HOYS Champion, William said: “It’s fantastic to have a pony like this up your sleeve for the future. And we’re delighted for Chloe. She rode beautifully.”

Chloe said: “She [Bluebell] was on really good form today; she’s a bouncy and compact ride and just a lovely person.”

Chloe will be back in the TopSpec Arena on Sunday competing in the Junior Mountain & Moorland Small Breed Ridden Pony of the Year sponsored by Ponies Association (UK) and now in the Ruckleigh School Supreme Pony of the Year as well.

Five-time HOYS Working Hunter Pony winner, Cashel Bay JJ (Cash), owned by Polly Eddis, made it six wins in the 153cm class and took the Reserve Champion title; a victory that has previously eluded him in this particular Championship.

Susie Eddis has ridden Cash for the past two seasons. Her sister Lucy had the ride beforehand and competed him at HOYS between 2014 and 2018. Cash has been placed in Working Hunter classes at HOYS for eight years on the trot and took the Mountain & Moorland Working Hunter Pony Championship in 2016. Now aged 16, this Connemara shows no signs of slowing down.

Speaking after her class, Susie said: “He was amazing in there; I like him with a bit more energy, a bit fiery!”

Lucy, who was at HOYS to support her sister, said: “It’s incredible. Just when you think he’s done it all, he does it again.”

Cash will have a rest now over winter while Susie concentrates on her event horse.

Kate Johnston’s 10-year-old Dutch Warmblood gelding Elton John II climbed up from third place last year to top the Intermediate section with daughter Daniella in the saddle.

Daniella was thrilled with the win. She’s had Elton for four years and is pleased with how he has matured over his three appearances here at HOYS.

The pair regularly show jump and came to HOYS fresh from winning the 1.25m Grand Prix at Arena UK just two weeks ago.

The 143cm section was won by Amber Marnane riding her mother Melanie’s 10-year-old Connemara gelding, Danny’s Pride. They were also placed ninth in the Mountain & Moorland Working Hunter Pony yesterday.

The pony is home produced and spends a lot of time on the gallops at Amber’s dad, David Marnane’s, racing yard back home in Tipperary, Ireland.

They have covered a lot of miles in their second season together, winning at the Northern Ireland Festival and qualifying at Lincolnshire Show for a very worthwhile trip to Birmingham today.

Amber said: “He [Danny’s Pride] was really good in the arena and attacked all the fences”.

Snuggy Hoods

Snuggy Hoods was founded over 20 years ago. Originally a small ‘attic’ business it grew rapidly through local demand for horse and pony hoods that weren’t then available on the UK market. Snuggy Hoods Ltd is now a thriving global company and continues to lead the market in providing horse ‘coverage’ to not only promote well-being but also to make day to day management easier for the busy horse owner.

For more information you can visit their website here

The National Pony Society

The National Pony Society (NPS) is a charitable body that was established in 1893, ‘to encourage the Breeding, Registration and Improvement of Riding Ponies and Mountain & Moorland ponies and to foster the Welfare of Ponies in general’. In conjunction with the British Horse Society, it is the officially appointed liaison between the Government and all those concerned with ponies and is represented on all major horse and pony organisations.

For more information you can visit their website here


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