Home talent enjoys a show to remember

The Royal Norfolk Show certainly showcased the cream of the crop last week, with a fantastic selection of some of the best riders, handlers and horses from East Anglia competing across all of the rings.

The show jumping was particularly well-supported and the International Stairway Grand Prix boasted the biggest cash prize, with �2,500 going to the winner, Phillip Miller and Caritiar Z, ahead of William Funnell and Billy Angelo.

Local rider June Gotts from Gimingham in Norfolk had an excellent show and was presented with the Maureen Holden – Mr Vee Memorial Perpetual Cup as highest placed Norfolk rider in the 1.20m Open Restricted.

Thanks to their 'rare breed' status, Suffolk Punches are always popular at The Royal Norfolk Show and champions John and Fiona Fleming of Eyke Stud near Woodbridge are no strangers to show ring success.

The pair won both the mare and the foal classes with the stunning seven-year-old Eyke Samphire and her filly foal Genesis, before taking the E S Buck Memorial Perpetual Silver Challenge Trophy for best mare and foal judged jointly for the tenth successive year.

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To top off further successes for this local stud, Eyke Samphire was awarded the Supreme Championship for Best Suffolk Horse.

The winners of the Hunt and Riding Club Team competition at the show were the Halesworth and District Riding Club.

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For the second year running, the team representing the riding club at the show were a family of Welsh cobs: Walden Landslide, full brother Walden Lightning and their nephew Yggstryd Strider.

Landslide and Strider were ridden by sisters Alice and Daisy Murray, and Lightning was partnered this year by Saint Felix School nurse Yvonne Proctor, who was deputising for his usual rider Fran Schonhut.

Isabel Meadows (8) and Maisie, a beautiful Dartmoor cross, made an amazing comeback at the Royal Norfolk Show.

Having been unwell since earlier this year, Isabel, a pupil at Brooke Primary School in Norfolk, had only started trotting again the Sunday before the show, but Maisie (25) looked after her young jockey and the partnership won the Ridden Veteran 25+ section.

Isabel's mother Lizzie was understandably thrilled, saying: 'Isabel became very ill in February and actually stopped walking.

'She started riding again towards the end of May and just went out for gentle walks on Maisie, who was very patient and helped a lot with Isabel's rehabilitation.

'There were times when Isabel was too poorly to visit her pony at the yard, so Maisie came to her, quite literally into the house.'

The duo will now be aiming for the Veteran Horse Society Championships, to be held at Olympia in December.

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