For the first time since its inaugural presentation in 2002, the Dick Saunders Trophy has been won by an intermediate — surely the last indication, if any were needed, that these “stepping-stone” classes from ponies to senior sections are doing their job.
Olivia Bowen and Goldern Tasset claimed the intermediate title for the second year running, and added the Underwood supreme pony accolade with a score of 28 points out of a possible 30. The runner-up spot was shared by three champions — the coloured Tambrook My Destiny; Slieve Bloom Jill, who repeated her Windsor victory in the mountain and moorland section; and show hunter pony Wolferlow Esperanto — on 25 points.
“This week has just been amazing — so many dreams have come true,” said Bowen, who lives in Pembrokeshire but has also been based at Carol Bardo’s Berkshire yard this season. “Goldern Tasset was just unstoppable.
“Because he is such a big mover, I started my individual show with trot,” she added. “I added in a change a rein with two strides of trot. I knew I had to do a good gallop, which he does best, so he went for it at the end up the long side. To finish I did a big trot one-handed.”
Now 10 years old, Goldern Tasset is by the Thoroughbred sire Tasset, out of Peppards Midge. He was brought out as a small hunter by Robert Walker, and was runner-up in the small hunters at HOYS in 2011.
The pony supreme was the delectable icing on a glorious cake, as Bowen had also triumphed in the NPS mountain and moorland working hunter pony final with the nine-year-old Connemara, Gallant Prince.
“He jumped the most amazing clear and galloped like a pro in the championship,” said Bowen.