Fell pony mare Lydvale Ellenor has qualified for the 2022 Royal International Horse Show (RIHS) for the first time, aged 13.
Keren Masters’ Lydvale Ellenor qualified for Hickstead after winning the Fell, Dales and Highland Heritage ridden qualifier at BSPS Area 13B. This was their third attempt at a qualifier.
“I’m turning 40 this year and, even though I wasn’t sure if we’d be good enough to qualify, I thought I’d give it a go,” says Keren, who is based in Cornwall and bought Ellenor from her breeders as a four-year-old.
Keren backed and has produced Ellenor through the ranks, though the mare’s showing career ground to a halt a few years ago when she had an accident in the lorry.
“She’s never been the best traveller,” says Keren. “One day she went down in the lorry and couldn’t get back up. She went lame and was out for a year. When she came sound I decided to put her in foal, and she’s left me with a lovely daughter, who is now a six-year-old. Then I had a baby, so we were out of the showing game for another couple of years.”
Keren decided to taken Ellenor to last year’s NPS championships, where they enjoyed a successful run.
“She was then fifth in her first Horse of the Year Show qualifier,” continues Keren. “She came out of winter looking so well that I decided to join the BSPS this year and give the RIHS a go. On the day she qualified I couldn’t really gauge if the judge liked her during the class, but when I was pulled into first I burst into tears. I couldn’t believe that we’d done it and that all our work had finally paid off.
“Ellenor is a really kind, lovely mare. I’m really excited to be able to ride a pony that I have broken in and schooled myself at such a prestigious event.”
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