Freya delighted after Horse of the Year Show success

Freya Cade and her ‘pony of a lifetime.

Freya Cade and her 'pony of a lifetime. - Credit: Archant

Freya Cade, 13, from Parson Drove and her show pony Sandbank Earlybird achieved their ultimate ambition at the Horse of the Year Show.

The pair had already had a fantastic season and the prestigious final held at the NEC in Birmingham was to be their last show after three years together as Freya will be too old to compete 'Kevin' next season.

The pair pulled off a foot perfect performance in the tense atmosphere and waited with baited breath for the results to be announced. From 24 finalists nine were called forward in reverse order to receive their prizes and Freya was elated when her number was called as the winner.

The pair stepped forward to receive their rosettes from the judges and this gave them the honour of competing in the International Arena that evening in front of a sell-out crowd to contest the Child's Riding Pony Championship.

Freya and Kevin rose to the occasion and were chosen as reserve champions.

Freya's mum Lorna, said: 'I can't put into words how proud I am of the pair of them. This is Freya's dream come true and thanks must go to the Emmerson Show Team who train them and Karen Smith who bred Kevin.

'He is one in a million and we love him to bits.'

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Freya was overcome with emotion and said: 'Kevin is my pony of a lifetime and I will never have another one like him.'

Another local rider to enjoy success at HOYS was Eleanor Hirst, 16, from Ormesby, who rode Stambrook Maestro to second place in the working hunter pony section. Eleanor was one of only five riders to jump clear over a challenging track and said afterwards: 'I have been fortunate to compete at HOYS many times, but there is nothing like jumping in front of a large crowd and hearing a huge cheer when we jump a clear round.'

A Norfolk horse fan is hoping to boost the profile of miniature horses in the East with a brand new show dedicated to these mini marvels.

Miniature breeds such as Falabellas and Shetland ponies are a unique section of the horse world that Hannah Cook from Pequeno Miniature Horse Stud in Salhouse, believes is under-represented in the east.

'It is growing in the region but needs a bit of a morale boost really,' she said.

'There are national shows but there are quite a few miniature horse owners who just don't want to travel hundreds of miles to attend them.'

To tackle this problem Hannah is planning a local miniature horse show for next July.

'I've been wanting to do this for a long time and I'm currently looking at venues, but that should be finalised soon,' she added.

'There is currently no dedicated show for miniature horses and Shetlands in the east, so there is a real gap in the market.'

The show will feature classes for all, including national qualifiers to entice the top level competitors as well as fun gymkhana games and jumping to showcase the versatility of these tiny equines.

'It will really get miniature horses out there. People really underestimate what these little guys can do,' she explained.

As a final flourish the show will also be a fundraiser for a charity called Can You Hear Us, a UK organisation dedicated to the needs of people affected by Neurofibromatosis Type 2 (NF2), a rare genetic condition wear sufferers develop nervous system tumours.