Cassie and Sianny’s fairytale success

Hayley GibbsCassie Badger and her Redwings rescue pony came through with flying colours after qualifying for the Pony of the Year championships at Towerlands. The 14-year-old from North Cove, near Beccles, took charge of Sianny last year - and her success in taking her to the Grand Prix final was reward for all the hard work she has put in ever since.Hayley Gibbs

Cassie Badger and her Redwings rescue pony came through with flying colours after qualifying for the Pony of the Year championships at Towerlands.

The 14-year-old from North Cove, near Beccles, took charge of Sianny last year - and her success in taking her to the Grand Prix final was reward for all the hard work she has put in ever since.

Sianny, or Redwinged Anny to give her her BSJA name, had twice been out on loan before and came with a reputation for rearing with a new rider.

As warned, Cassie ended up on the floor the first few times she rode her. But, with help from an excellent instructor, Ravenham's Sam Warde, and more latterly international show jumper Portia Howard from Cantley, the pair have developed a brilliant partnership.


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Rarely placed lower than fourth in BSJA competitions, they gained enough points to qualify for Pony of the Year over the Easter weekend.

At Towerlands they came up against some of the best young combinations in the country.

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But in her two qualifying rounds she came 13th & 15th out of 85 to comfortably make the final 60 for the Grand Prix. There, over three rounds, she got through to round two with a clear jumping round and a qualifying time.

Now among the last 30, they unluckily clipped a fence to miss out on the grand final, but had cause to be proud of finishing 21st out of about 200 riders in the competition.

This is a fairytale story of a young girl taking what had been an abandoned pony to the most prestigious show in the pony calendar, where she came up against ponies that were fetching anything up to �45,000.

The Sir John Leman High School pupil, who is a member of Waveney Harriers PC, has proven that hard work and perseverance can be every bit as important as money.

The family are grateful to Emma Lacey of Redwings, who gave them the opportunity to prove what Sianny could achieve with a loving, determined and talented young rider.

t Jo Cullen had a successful afternoon when Easton College staged their Southern Area Sprint Showing Show, featuring Unaffiliated and Equifest Qualifiers.

Showing Flipside, an eight-year old thoroughbred gelding owned by Miss Joey Ellis from Bungay, she won the In hand Riding Horse/Hack class and went on to win the championship and take overall Supreme In-hand.

Flipside raced until he was four and Jo is now hoping to get him under saddle to do Racehorse to Riding Horse and Hack classes.

t Grange Farm held the first of the summer show jumping league shows at Hainford on Easter Monday.

Tony Mallet had built a testing but fair course and all classes - split between juniors in the morning and seniors in the afternoon - were well supported.

The senior 1.10m was won by Jo Carmichael on Ginger Jimmy. The next show jumping date is May 9.

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