Scintillating Pony Performances on Day Two of Horse of the Year Show

Scintillating Pony Performances on Day Two of Horse of the Year Show

Poppy Deakin delivered a calm and assured performance to be crowned GS Equestrian Leading Pony Showjumper at the Horse of the Year Show.

Tynedale-based Poppy admitted she had achieved a showjumping career dream by winning a class that was first contested in 1949.

Just three combinations from 27 starters made the jump-off, with Poppy keeping her nerve on Armene du Costilg to take top spot.

A time of 36.63 seconds saw them home, 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,” 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 opened the show jumping on day two at the NEC, Birmingham, and it lived up to its reputation as an outstanding springboard for young riders.

First contested at HOYS 37 years ago – former winners include current world number one eventer and Olympic gold medallist Oliver Townend – the class once again delivered a thrilling spectacle.

It was a special day for Leicestershire teenager Tabitha Kyle, who completed a hat-trick of Horse of the Year Show titles.

Tabitha claimed a double in the 128cm and 138cm pony classes three years ago, and a scintillating performance aboard Coppenhagh Khalessi, owned by her mother Tanya, put them way clear of the field.
A jump-off masterclass saw them clock 28.77 seconds, winning by more than three seconds from runner-up Ruby Barrs, riding 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.”

  • Audio interview with Poppy Deakin, winner of the GS Equestrian Leading Pony Showjumper class at the Horse of the Year Show.
  • Audio interview with Tabitha Kyle, winner of the Blue Chip Pony Newcomers Championship at the Horse of the Year Show.


For more information on Horse of the Year Show 2022, please contact Horse of the Year Show Press Office, Grandstand Media Ltd. Tel: 02476 858205. Email:

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