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HOYS mini present pony championship


  • A pair of five-year-olds netted the Barberstown Castle HOYS mini show pony of the year championship at the 2022 Horse of the Year Show (HOYS) after winning the lead rein class.

    Millie Knipe was in the saddle of the delightful Westgrove Dark Secret gelding Derw Dream Boy (Dave) who was making his first appearance at HOYS, handled by Millie’s father, farrier James Knipe.



    The Knipe Family from Cumbria produce Dave from home and their 2022 season has been littered with success. They took mini champions at Royal Cheshire in June and at the BSPS summer championships they went through the card to stand overall supreme champions.

    “James and I have both been trying for years to win HOYS and our five-year-old daughter has done it with her very first pony,” said Millie’s mother, Jade Knipe. “We’ve had seconds but never managed to win it.”

    Dave was bought from his breeder, Julia Owen, as an unbroken three-year-old.

    “I have to credit my mum for finding him,” said Jade, who runs glamping pods and works as a hairdresser. “We were on our travels and she sent me a picture, so we did a U-turn to go and see him.”

    Dave was backed at and is still produced from home.

    “We intentionally didn’t do any HOYS qualifiers last year as he was just a four-year-old; we didn’t want to over do it and we wanted to save him for this year,” Jade added. “He’s such an easy pony and is a real mother’s dream.

    “Millie loves showing and she does everything with Dave; she’s always in the stable grooming him.”

    Winning first ridden, Seamoor Lady Derby, took reserve in the HOYS mini show pony championship for her super jockey Anya Dewey Clarke.

    Richard Miller judged the mini classes: “My job was to find a safe yet quality and correct pony, and my champion was just that.”

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