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2022 HOYS finalist Rookery Boomerang

  • At the 2022 British Show Pony Society (BSPS) summer championships, a 12-year-old rider and her home-produced Welsh section A Rookery Boomerang headed a mammoth M&M junior ridden small breeds class, lifting their first ever Horse of the Year Show (HOYS) pass.

    Holly Dilks and her mother Fae Dilks’ Rookery Boomerang, known at home as Boomy, have progressed through the show ring ranks together. Boomy was an eighth birthday present for Holly.

    “He was the best birthday present ever,” said Fae. “He’s brought Holly off the lead rein and has given her so much confidence. She was a nervous rider and he’s taken her through Pony Club, first ridden, hunting, arena eventing and showing.”

    Boomy was bought locally as a first year first ridden, after taking two children successfully into the show ring off the lead rein.

    “He is the perfect first pony,” said Fae. “He’s a total gent to ride, but has a cheeky Welsh character on the ground. He loves his food and is willing to break and enter to obtain it.”

    Boomy and Holly began their partnership at county level, both on the flat and in working hunter ranks. In 2021, the pair won their first Royal International Horse Show (RIHS) ticket in the Pretty Polly M&M first ridden class. They returned to Hickstead this year in the Pretty Polly open M&M ridden, being one of the smallest combinations in the class.

    “He’s our pony of a lifetime and there’s nothing he cannot do,” said Fae. “They have worked incredibly hard together. At home in Cumbria we have no facilities. We use hacking to keep fit and we school on the beach when the field is too wet.

    “Holly is due to compete at HOYS the day after her 13th birthday, so what a present that will be for her.”

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