Performance and In Hand Awards 2021

Report and Results

The presentation of the Highland Pony Society Awards was held on Thursday 10 February 2022 on "Zoom", in a combined meeting of both Ridden Performance Schemes alongside the new In Hand Awards. Despite having a slow start to events at the beginning of 2021, as Covid kept its hold, by June both sides of the border began to open up and events started to take place again. The Highland Pony Society decided to go ahead with the Performance Awards and to run them in the usual format instead of amalgamated as in 2020. 

The Awards evening commenced with a welcome from the Highland Pony Society's President, Sylvia Ormiston. She introduced Amber Thorpe who had been invited to talk about her very successful young pony and the fun she'd had with him. 

Amber had prepared a very interesting power point about her stallion, Highland Chief of Talisker, who she had bought as a five year old. Her mother had seen him for sale on Facebook and bought him over the phone! With a few initial adventures, he had a very successful season as a seven year old, qualifying for RIHS, HOYS and Olympia and won the HPS Bronze Medal at the NPS Summer Championships. The following year started with a bang when he won the first HOYS qualifier. However, it was at the RIHS where dreams were achieved! "Junior" not only took the Reserve Championship in the M&M Young Riders Classes but went on the following day to lift the Supreme Pony Championship as well, coinciding with her 25th birthday. A Hickstead to remember! Amber finished off her presentation by drawing listeners' attention to her Tiktok and YouTube channel which show her pony off at work and at play!

Sylvia thanked Amber for her informative talk and congratulated her on her many successes. She then introduced Anne Owen Walker who was the secretary for the new In Hand Award Scheme. 2021 saw the inaugural running of the Society’s In-Hand Awards Scheme. The aim of the scheme is to encourage breeders and owners to show their ponies. 

Organiser, Anne Owen Walker writes; "There is one scheme for the whole of the country and it is open to registered Highland ponies of all ages - and almost all ages of handler! This award is very similar to the established Ridden Performance Scheme where points are collected at shows and recorded on a card. There is no need to obtain judges’ signatures.

Very fittingly, the 2021 Champion was long standing breeder and former Council Member, Alison Payne with her homebred filly, Eilidh Dhubh of Castle Green. This combination were the winners of the HPS Youngstock Championship in England and along with their other successes, saw them the winners here. Reserve went to Fiona Steel and Moss-side Breagh II who posted wins at both the Great Yorkshire Show and Blair where double points are available. Three year olds dominated the top places as taking third spot was Zoe Marsden with her lovely colt, Strathmore Jasper. However older ponies did well too, it was especially nice to see two veteran ponies in the top ten, Marsha Holtham’s Mhairi of Silverstripe , who was also Best Mare and Jean Stewart’s Esme of Armoury.

It is fabulous that so many people have generously donated trophies to this new scheme so there will be a lot of sideboards with new additions this year. However, no one leaves empty handed as there are rosettes for everyone who returns a Card to recognise and celebrate their achievements." Anne finished by stating that cards for 2022 are ready now and can be obtained through the Society’s online “Shop”. She wished everyone good luck for the forthcoming season. 

Chris Grant then took over to present the results of the Ridden Performance Award Schemes. Entries from England & Wales were a little down on previous years but the Scotland Scheme had slightly more. In Scotland, ponies competed in 14 different types of events with dressage being the most popular competition followed by showing and this pattern was repeated in the E&W awards. Overall most people competed on geldings but more stallions (4) competed than usual. Interestingly, only two mares competed in Scotland and four south of the border which leads one to wonder where all the mares are, as they surely aren't all involved in breeding programmes. Four ponies were homebred in Scotland though only one in E&W. Like the results of 2019, juniors were thin on the ground with a total of four but at the other end of the scale, both schemes each had 6 riders of 50+. In Scotland, 11 out of the 19 ponies entered were competing in the scheme for the first time along with 7 new rider/ pony combinations. There were more returning ponies in E&W as only 7 ponies were new with 6 new combinations. 

By screen sharing, all entrants were able to see photos of themselves with their ponies. Chris involved the placed competitors by inviting them to chat about their ponies, the achievements they'd had in 2021 and their aims for the future. "Special" rosettes were awarded to all competitors from eleventh place and lower and each pony had screen time to celebrate their participation in the Awards. Scotland's top results were then announced in reverse order from 10th which went to Lachlan of Gersa and Lindsay Gunn, a previous overall winner, who won the Seamus of Glenshee Trophy for dressage. 9th place and top Junior, also winning the Jinty of Prosen Trophy for Show Jumping, went to Burnside Westray with Morven Wilkie, who was thrilled with her result as this is her last year in junior classes. The Dunedin Harris Trophy for WHP points went to Kayleigh Moran and Gordon of Caenlochan who came 8th and the HPS Quaich for Trec was presented to Julia Lewis with Phoenix of Auchlethan in 7th place. Royal Caledonian of Fourmerk, who came 6th, gained most of his points from hunting until his fun was abruptly curtailed when his jockey, Vicki Fletcher unfortunately had an unrelated accident and broke her femur. Hopefully winning the Mowhaugh Tankard for hunting would go some way to compensate! In 5th place came Jackie Henderson with her homebred gelding, Craigenroe Merlin, both competing for the first time in the scheme. The stallion, Dunstruan Ettrick Mhor, who represented the Breed at HOYS in October, came 4th and won both the Angus of Gersa Quaich for for the top homebred pony as well as the Turin Hill Angus Iain Trophy for the best stallion, for his delighted breeder, Heather Dick. First time combination in 3rd place, Anne Fowlie with Fergie of Logierait were awarded the HPS Bursary as well as the Trailtrow Raffan Rosie Trophy for versatility, competing in an amazing 10 different activities! Anne also won the Elijah Wedgewood Quaich for riders 50+ thus showing the benefits of retiral! And so to the top two!! With only 63 points separating them, 2nd place went to Jackie Coull with Trailtrow Gracie who won the Dunrowan Dolphin Trophy for the best new pony to the scheme - a fitting award as Dolphin was a foundation mare at the Trailtrow Stud! The champion for Scotland in 2021, winning the Glenda Spooner Trophy and an HPS Bronze Medal, was Jennifer Herd with her veteran mare, Carse Carousel. All her points were won in endurance including a seventeen day trek north up the Pennine Way to Scotland, camping en route. She also won the David's Lass of Carn Dearg Trophy for endurance, Morven of Turin Hill Quaich for the best home produced mare and the Mowhaugh Rosebowl for best veteran. 

The attention then turned to the England and Wales Scheme in which there was one representative flying the flag for Wales! In 10th place, winning the Brownbread Rebecca Trophy for the best mare was Balleroy Imogen and Ellie Hughes- Frost. Two ponies tied for 8th place with the stallion, Glenbanchor Gillebrighde, another HOYS finalist, gaining all his points from successful show ring appearances with Catherine Taylor scoring the same marks as Trailtrow Glenkinchie with Jess Lewis, who won the Versatility Quaich by competing in seven different activities. 7th place went to junior rider, Lucie Callister, with her pony, Whitefield Prince Ruaridh and she was delighted to win the Gemma of Carlung Trophy for most improved as well as the show jumping rosette. Top Junior came 6th with Austin of Miltonglen and Harriet Drewery, not only winning the Grover Family Bowl for E&W but the Sue Giles Memorial Quaich for the best overall junior in the two schemes. Their highlight was winning the M&M Junior Ridden class at HOYS. Top stallion in 5th place, Bluebraes Ossian took away the HPS Claret Challenge Trophy (stallion) and the Machelthy Sir Bertram Horn Quaich for fun classes for his owner, Debra Howe. Jennifer Harvey came 4th with Torranach of Achnacarry and another pony bred at the same stud, Achnacarry Machair Mist and Debbie Harris came 3rd winning the Lochlands Handel Quaich for rider 50+. Another pony, who's points were also mainly gained from hunting and being awarded the Quest of Mendick Trophy for this activity, was Balmule Tavish and Gemma Green, both regularly seen out with the Coakham Bloodhounds. With over a thousand points more than Tavish was the 2021 Performance Champion for E&W, Dunedin Maurice and Elizabeth Etchells, who will need a lorry to collect their silverware! Their points were mainly gained from dressage and they were the NPS Dressage Supreme Champion amongst many other successes. Elizabeth, who had just had a baby a fortnight previously, was virtually presented with the Glenda Spooner Trophy and HPS Bronze Medal, along with the HPS Bursary as a new combination. They also won the Whitehope Morag Salver ( New Pony), the Nashend Sea Otter Trophy ( Highest Dressage Score), HPS Quaich (WHP) and Benny Trophy (Best Gelding). 

There was one last presentation to make before the evening concluded and that was the new Lochlands Choir Boy Trophy, presented by Anne Owen Walker to the breeder of the Overall Winner of the Scotland and England & Wales Schemes. In its inaugural year, it was awarded to Anne Mitchell of the Dunedin Highland Pony Stud. 


With the busy evening coming to a conclusion, Sylvia took to the screen to thank everyone for participating in the awards and to encourage everyone to join in again for 2022. She finished by expressing her thanks to Anne Owen Walker and Chris Grant for all their efforts with prior preparations and organising the evening.