An Earby equine enthusiast has been left overwhelmed after one of her ponies won gold at one of the biggest horse shows of the year.
Victoria Wharton, of Aspen Grove, took her 10-year-old pony Choice to the Horse of the Year show at the NEC in Birmingham in October expecting to be well down the ranking list.
But to everybody’s surprise, Choice was top of the class in the “Mountain and Moorland First Ridden” category and then won the Championship overall as she was ridden by 12-year-old Morgan Starkie from Bacup.
It caps a remarkable year, as Victoria showed Choice for the first time on the big stage at the Longines Royal International Horse Show at Hickstead in the summer when the pony came a creditable fifth in her category.
The week after the success in Birmingham, Choice was straight back into another qualifying event and will now go to London in December for the prestigious Olympia Horse Show.
A delighted Victoria said: “To win was incredible. These are the top 24 ponies in the country, so to be in that competition was great but to go and win it was unreal. She did fantastic. This was on the Wednesday, and we were invited to go back on the Friday for the Supreme Championships. Unfortunately it was another day and another set of judges and we didn’t win. But she still put in an excellent performance.”
Victoria is putting her faith in rider Morgan once again when they head to Olympia for the meet on December 22nd.
Victoria added: “It’s tough, but he’s done very well. For example, at the Royal International show, he was in the open category and was up against adults so it’s a good achievement.”