If you’ve ever judged a supreme championship, you will know how hard it is to choose between a hack and a hunter, or a riding horse and a cob. Pity, then, the poor mountain and moorland judge at Olympia, who has to pick a champion from nine breeds — from Shetlands to Welsh section Ds. It’s a tough decision… but what do the breeds themselves think?
As one of the UK’s oldest native breeds, the Shetland was very proud of his heritage. “One of the earliest laws on Shetland said that if a man cut the tail of another man’s horse, he’d be fined £10,” he boasted.
“A tenner, LOL,” laughed the New Forest. “My human spends about that a week on Polos for me.”
“I don’t what you’re boasting about,” said the Dartmoor to the New Forest. “People buy your type for that much, if you get my Drift.”
The New Forest looked downhearted. “Not the really good ones, like those that qualify for Olympia. Anyway,” he cheered up, “at least we’ve won Olympia!”
“You,” said the Dartmoor to the Shetland, “have no hope. No Shetland has ever won the Olympia title, and never will.”
“Don’t be so sure,” snorted the Shetland. “I may only be little but I am super-cute and so is my rider. I plan to do a storming gallop. The crowd will love us.”
“YOU might think you’re galloping, but your little legs just twinkle faster,” smirked the Exmoor, joining in. “If you want to see a real gallop, watch me!”
“You guys are amateurs,” butted in the Welsh Section D. “Everyone wants to watch the Welsh Cobs — we’re famous for our movement.”
“You’re all torque and knee action,” giggled the Welsh Section A.
“You think you’re funny, but a Welsh A has never won Olympia and we’ve won it twice,” pointed out the Cob, causing the little grey to sulk.
“We’ve been reserve three times and second reserve twice,” she pouted.
“Oh, who cares about reserve?” scoffed the Welsh Section C. “Welsh Cs won it two years running — that hasn’t happened often.”
“Well, actually,” said the Highland, “we won two years running as well, then we gave someone else a chance because it seemed only fair. But we won it again the year after.”
The Welsh Section B preened a little, as well he might. “I am the reigning Olympia champion,” he pointed out. “And Welsh Bs have won it six times.”
“It isn’t about the quantity, it’s about the quality,” chorused the Dales and the Fell. “We may have only won one each, but they were vintage years.”
“Ahem.” All the other ponies fell silent as the Connemara pushed her way through. “Connies have won Olympia more times than any other breed, with two ponies winning the overall title twice, one two years running. Beat that!”
With five Connemaras qualified for this year, they have a good chance of increasing their haul but, as always, the BSPS Ridden Mountain and Moorland Championship will be hotly contested (Monday, December 21).