Vicki Rudd landed the coveted Cuddy supreme in-hand championship — one of the most prestigious HOYS qualifiers of the season — at Royal Bath & West last Saturday (June 4) with her first ever home-bred pony, Shildons Excalibur.
The three-year-old gelding is by Rotherwood Peeping Tom out of Thirkleby Blue Bonnet. It was only his second show, having stood show hunter pony champion and reserve supreme in-hand at Hambleton at the end of May. He went through to the Cuddy at Shepton Mallet showground after standing part-bred Welsh champion.
Excalibur will come out under saddle next year in 14hh SHP novice classes and there are high hopes for him.
“He has the most exceptional temperament and he is a fabulous mover,” said producer Mark Reeves, who described winning the Cuddy at the Royal Bath & West as “the best moment ever”. “Vicki [owner-breeder] is a stickler for movement and correct conformation.”
This year’s Bath & West Show boasted an increase in entries, particularly in the breeding classes.
“For a number of years there have been too many horses around and breeders have not had the confidence in the market to put their mares in-foal,” said Alan Lyons, Royal Bath & West head of shows. “But this year we’re seeing a sharp increase in breeding horse and pony entries.
“There are still a lot of people out there who want to buy a good pony and somebody has got to breed it. People like the brain of a pony with the stamina and agility of a larger horse, and the growing number of part-bred Welsh and mountain and moorland entries reflect that trend.”