One of the first horses bred by Lisha Leeman of Kellythorpes Stud, Kellythorpes Master Key, has booked his place in the coloured final at Horse of the Year Show in October, having won his section at the BSPS Winter Championships over Easter. Master Key, known as Marley, is by Honeypot Sporran out of Leeman’s wonderful foundation mare, Meacham Mambo No. 5, whom she lost to colic last October.
Marley (pictured) has been to HOYS before, standing fourth in the prestigious Cuddy in-hand supreme horse in 2014. But it is the first time he has qualified for the ridden sections at the Birmingham end-of-season finale.
“Still can’t believe my little guy is now all grown up and on his way to the most fabulous show in the world,” said Leeman, having watched the now five-year-old win his class at Arena UK, Lincolnshire, ridden by Frazer Atherden. “We didn’t get champion or reserve, but those places went to two HOYS winners, which I could totally understand.
“I was lost for words when they called Marley forward. I think my darling Mambo was looking after her little boy. And I couldn’t believe the song, Mambo No. 5, was playing on the speakers when he was called forward!”
There was more joy for the Kellythorpes team when Janay Leeman — Leeman’s daughter and Atherden’s fiancée — won her HOYS class with the graded traditional stallion Heartbreaker IV, despite the fact that she had only ridden him in the ring once.
“Just when I thought today couldn’t get any better, me and ‘Stan’ won the small hairy class at BSPS and qualified for HOYS,” said the younger Leeman. “Dreams do come true. He’s a little superstar.”
Image courtesy of Leesha Leeman and Kellythorpes Stud