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WPCS Performance Show 2013

The 18th and 19th May 2013 saw some of the best sunshine yet to welcome the arrival of many competitors to the WPCS annual Performance Show, held at Triley Fields, Abergavenny.

With dressage and hunter trials on the Saturday and showing, working hunter, show jumping and driving on the Sunday it was a weekend of fierce competition and brilliant spectator sport.

Champion Section A this year was India Latter's stunning grey stallion Powys Sprite. Sprite, originally from the Netherlands, was second at HOYS last year and has already gained his qualification to return for 2013. It is also hoped to try and qualify him for the HOYS working hunter pony class for the first time this year. Sprite could do no wrong all weekend, gaining championship after championship and arriving at the presentation ceremony looking like the proverbial Christmas tree! It was somewhat difficult to see much of his white coat beneath his glorious sashes and rosettes. He claimed first prizes in the dressage, horse trials, show jumping, open ridden and working hunter and a second in the hunter trials to claim 35 points of a possible 36. He also claimed a first in the novice hunter trail and added the novice and open working hunter championships and the open ridden championship to his impressive tally, although these did not count towards the overall points championship. Reserve to Sprite was the evergreen Gorfelyn Busy Bee who certainly did not look her twenty years of age. Busy Bee kick-started the career of her former jockey, Adam Janes, who is competing regularly in British Eventing. Busy Bee is now enjoying a slightly quieter pace of life with her current small jockey, Tirion Lloyd. Together, they claimed a first prize in the hunter trials, third in the working hunter and second in the show jumping, dressage and horse trial to claim a total of 25 points.

Section B's were somewhat thin on the ground this year but the Champion, Caroline Langford's Butleigh Picasso, ridden by Gail Butler, still completed every discipline to claim 34 points. Picasso jumped clear all weekend to gain wins in the novice and open hunter trials, novice and open working hunter and show jumping as well as the dressage and horse trials. He also gained a second in the novice ridden and third in the open ridden. Picasso is the only stallion to be sired by the Dutch stallion, Kenwoods Showman, who is now sadly deceased. This is the first year under saddle for Picasso, who was only broken last winter, and he is already starting to prove his versatility within the performance disciplines.

Champion Section C was Rachel Thomas with her own Rivervalley Tyron. Rachel and Tyron won this accolade for the second year running. They were also winners of the NFU National WHP Championship at the National Welsh Championship show for the third time last year. I wonder if they can do it for a fourth time this year?! Here they won the hunter trial, second in the show jumping, dressage, working hunter and horse trial and fourth in the ridden to claim 29 points and steal the championship with just one point from India Latter's other ride, Yarty Telynores. Rachel and Tyron were also the recipients of the Brightwells Trophy for the pony with the most points which was purchased at a Brightwells sale. This was the second year that India and Telynores had stood in the reserve spot. Telynores has been very successful under saddle and here she claimed wins in the ridden, dressage and horse trials, second in the hunter trial, fourth in the working hunter and fifth in the show jumping to claim 28 points.

Retaining the Champion Section D title were last years winners, the gelding Rhydycar Gwion and Jade Bennett, both aged fourteen. They won the hunter trial and show jumping and were third in the horse trial and working hunter to total 20 points. Jade also won the section D young rider trophy for the second year running. Jane Weller's Menai Callum stood reserve champion D. Jane had made the long journey from Surrey to attend the show and had brought along a large number of entry forms for the WPCS Performance competition, where points are gained throughout the year, culminating in a large presentation with trophies presented to the winners. Menai Callum was sold at the cob sales as a foal for £650 and is sired by the Menai Stud's Royal Welsh winning, Menai Cardi Llwyd. This five year old gained a win in the horse trials and working hunter, second in the dressage and sixth in the show jumping to total 18 points, as well as a gaining a win in the novice working hunter and fifth in the novice hunter trial.

Champion small part bred was Portmead New Horizon ridden by Charlotte Chard. New Horizon and Charlotte have had success in affiliated British Dressage and here, despite only competing in open classes in four of the six disciplines, they still won the show jumping, dressage, hunter trials and horse trials to obtain 24 points as well as gaining a first and reserve champion in the novice working hunter class, a first in the novice hunter trial and a fourth in the novice ridden. Reserve Champion was the rather striking Appaloosa, Domino, ridden by Heidi Nicholls. Together they were second in the ridden and dressage to gain 10 points.

In the large part breds, the championship went to the bay mare, Darcie's Law, owned by Catherine Westran and ridden by Gemma Lewis. Darcie's Law is sired by the Welsh Cob stallion Cwmclwyd Cardi Express, who in turn is sired by Derwen Royal Express, a stallion which is in the pedigree of many of today's prizewinning show cobs. Darcie's Law was third in the ridden, show jumping, hunter trial and dressage and first in the horse trials and working hunter to total 28 points. Chloe Lloyd and Porthmorddwr Chaddle Gold Millie stood in the same spot as they did last year to claim the reserve championship. Together they were fourth in the ridden, first in the show jumping, second in the hunter trial and working hunter and third in the horse trials to total 23 points.

The novice points championship was claimed by Gail Butler and Butleigh Picasso. They won the novice hunter trials, novice working hunter and second in the novice ridden to claim 17 points over Charlotte Chard and Portmead New Horizon who amassed 15 points with wins in the novice hunter trials, novice working hunter and a fourth in the novice ridden.

Aside from the points championships there were also various class championships. With India and Powys Sprite clearing the board in all but the novice ridden, the reserve champions in the novice and open working hunter classes were Portmead New Horizon and Cwmbeeg Destiny respectively. Reserve in the open ridden went to WPCS staff member Katie Parry with Ceredigion Gwenno, owned by Caryl Jones. They were also the recipients of the NPS Silver Medal Championship. Novice ridden champion was  Alex Williams' four year old black section C mare, Caerddaniel Pollanna, and Danielle Everitt's five year old stallion, Monahawk Masterpiece, was reserve.

The driving proved a brilliant spectacle for the second year running and was split into two sections- the Welsh Driving classes where the ponies and cobs are shown put to a traditional show wagon and the Pleasure Driving classes where the ponies are put to a more regular type of trap. It was interesting that each winner of the four classes was a stallion. The champion and reserve from the Welsh classes were both exhibited by Claire Granger and George Mitchell, who had made the very long journey from Essex. Their champion was the roan Section A stallion, Senny Kendall and their reserve was the palomino stallion, Cargarsar Silver Shadow. Champion from the Pleasure Driving classes was Victoria Kedward's chestnut stallion Gurnos Welsh Eyecatcher who is a full brother to her multi champion performance stallion Gurnos Welsh Jojo and is already looking set to follow in his hoof prints! The supreme sash went to the Senny Kendall and the reserve supreme sash went to Gurnos Welsh Eyecatcher.

The teams competition was very hotly contested and the winners, and making it a hat-trick by claiming victory for the third year running, were Glamorgan. The winning team consisted of Gail Butler riding Butleigh Picasso, Rachel Thomas riding Rivervalley Tyron, Jade Bissmire riding Bryncadoc Night Flight and Alex George Bissmire riding Penllyn Marten. Ceredigion were close on their heels and were beaten into second place by just half a point. Their team consisted of India Latter's two rides, Powys Sprite and Yarty Telynores, Lisa Saycell with Toyside Lucky Lowri and Tirion Lloyd with Gorfelyn Busy Bee. Third were the other Glamorgan team consisting of Rachel Thomas with Penstacan Elijah, Victoria Kedward with Gurnos Welsh Eyecatcher, Emily Langford with Aros Julietta and Terry Davies's Oldforge Tywysog ridden by Kryselle Jones.

The Supreme champion was to receive a portrait of their horse or pony very generously donated and to be painted by Chris Latter. The Supreme and Reserve Supreme were separated by just one point this year in a nail biting climax. The Supreme champion was, of course, Powys Sprite but this posed Chris a problem as she didn’t want to paint her daughter's pony, so she very generously decided to offer to paint the Reserve Supreme, and this accolade went to a delighted Caroline Langford's, Butleigh Picasso, ridden by Gail Butler. The portrait is to be presented at the 2014 AGM. Chris also delighted the committee of the show by announcing at the presentation ceremony that she would be delighted to paint the show's Supreme champion for a few years to come. So hopefully we will see a large increase in entries for next year at a show that is fast becoming the highlight of the WPCS Calendar for the competitors. It is well run by a dedicated committee, well supported by the very generous sponsors and in an ideal location to provide a fun weekend for anyone, regardless of their or their pony or cob's experience. So why not come and support this friendly show and perhaps you can become next year's Supreme Champion?!

Report by Gail Butler

12th Jun 2013