TOP HORSE: Breeder David Eccles with the overall in-hand champion Westwick Hamish
TOP HORSE: Breeder David Eccles with the overall in-hand champion Westwick Hamish

THE Dales Pony Society’s annual Stallion and Breed Show held at Streatlam Farm, near Barnard Castle, proved to be yet another successful event with good quality ponies coming forward.

This spring showcase event boasted a superb collection of some of the best stallions and young stock from all over the UK, with exhibitors from as far south as Kent and from a lot further north in Aberdeenshire.

Mr and Mrs D and A Eccles’ Westwick Hamish kicked off proceedings with a win in the first class of senior stallions, followed by a succession of wins for the Westwick stud, including Westwick Jim owned by Mr B Edmunson in two-year-old stallion class.

Organisers said the mare classes were extremely well attended, which just goes to prove how successful the breeders are being producing great stock. Stuffynwood Daffodil, shown by E Hayes and S Noble, won the mare seven years and over classes, which was very well attended with 11 top class ponies forward.

They added that the quality of the mares and fillies at this year’s spring show was of a really high standard and decisions must have proved difficult at times for judge Mr J Cockbain. The Westwick stud took youngstock champion with Westwick Daisy May and reserve place went to Westwick Lily II.

Overall supreme in-hand champion was Westwick Hamish and in reserve was Stuffynwood Daffodil owned and exhibited by E Hayes & S Noble

In the ridden ring the BSPS LeMieux Heritage class was won Mrs R Bradley’s Hett Solitaire with Mrs K Thomas’ Highcroft Rebel taking second place. Both these top class ponies qualified for the semi-final round for Olympia.

In the afternoon Judges Mr C Turner and Mrs J Graham started with The Dales Pony Society ridden pony of the year class, won by Mrs R Bradley’s Hett Solitaire who went on to be traditional champion, reserve ridden champion and overall supreme ridden champion.

Open ridden champion was Ellen Jones’ Nipna Flaming Katy who was also reserve supreme ridden champion.

The in-hand gelding classes were well attended and Bolam Danny exhibited by Mr and Mrs J K and M Metcalf stood champion gelding with Essiecroft Jubilee George, owned by Mr and Mrs M Snowden, taking the reserve spot.

Rene Bradley, secretary of the society, said: “We had some good quality ponies come forward for this spring showcase event and a superb collection of some of the very best stallions and young stock from all over the UK.”

She said the breed is going from strength to strength and this year, thanks to the tireless efforts of former society chairman Roger James, the Dales Ponies will be judged for the first time in their own class in the Horse of the Year (HOYS) contest, which will take place in October.

She added: “It’s testament to the support and the breeders over the last few years.

“We have seen a lot of ridden mares coming through and that’s down to the breeders.”

More pictures and all the results are in this week's Teesdale Mercury