“Home-bred” pony and rider qualify for the Royal International

By Nicola Jane Swinney on |


Alex Hollings qualifies for the Royal International

A second-generation home-bred has qualified for the Royal International — and the jockey is “home-bred” too.

Alex Hollings, daughter of showing supremos Penny and Nigel Hollings, won the 153cm show hunter pony section at BSPS Area 1 on Saturday, April 30, with Pendle First Light (Pandora).

Penny bred Pandora out of After Dark V, a successful SHP that was second at HOYS in 1998. After Dark was out of a mare called Sheer Gold, Penny’s first horse, and by the Thoroughbred sire Westhill Integrity.

“After Dark is retired here and Pandora was her first foal, by the dressage stallion Roulette,” said Penny Hollings. “After Pandora’s past couple of outings, we thought we needed to change things in her feed and work routine and she seemed much happier on Saturday. She did super gallops in both go-round and show, and thankfully the judges thought so too. It gives me such joy as a mum to watch these two.”

Pendle First Light has packed a lot into her 12 years, having stood supreme show hunter pony at the BSPS Championships, and won at both the Royal International and HOYS as a five-year-old. Alex Hollings, now 20, took over in 2012 and the pair has qualified for the Royal International and HOYS every year since. This is Alex’s last season with Pandora.

Image: Alex Hollings and Pandora, courtesy of the Hollings family


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