Valley of delight for North Norfolk Pony Club’s Eleanor Hirst at Burghley
Fifteen-year-old Eleanor Hirst of the North Norfolk Pony Club completed a memorable double success in the Pony Club Mini Eventer at Burghley Horse Trials.
Two members were selected from each pony club across the country and the class was split into two sections. Eleanor and her pony Kincon Valley firstly had to complete a dressage test and then go straight on to a course of showjumps and cross-country fences.
There were 35 competitors in each section, where Eleanor scored 64 out of 70 for her dressage and 98 out of 100 for jumping style and was delighted to stand in the winning position. The top three from both sections went forward to the championship, where Eleanor was also triumphant.
Kincon Valley was bought two years ago at an Irish sale as a four-year-old by Eleanor's mother Katrina and Eleanor has produced him herself. The duo have also had a successful season in Working Hunter classes. Eleanor's older sister Fiona has also had a successful season on her young horse, Royale Impact, winning the HOYS Working Hunter Qualifier at Ponies UK.
• Norfolk owned Maisie, the diminutive veteran mare, has become the NCPA Veteran of the Year 2012.
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She qualified for NCPA POYS at Midland Counties show by winning the Veteran Horse Showing Regional Olympia class earlier this summer.
Northern Counties Pony Association's Pony of the Year Show is an established prestigious championship in the national showing diary and this year was held at Uttoxeter Race Course. A healthy mix of professional producers and home-grown amateurs attracted entries from as far afield as Dumfries in Scotland and Rhyll in North Wales.
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Maisie, 26, competed in the veteran championship for horses and ponies aged over 20 years and Lizzie was delighted when she was announced as the winner. The beautiful riding pony stallion Trellech Countryman (20) stood reserve.