Highland pony stallion Lochlands Gypsy Baron pulled off yet another flawless performance to retain his Horse of the year Show (HOYS) Highland championship title under owner Tracey Milward.
The 12-year-old dun stallion by Whitefield Prince Platinum out of Lochlands Magic Flute, has now been to HOYS six times, but is still as keen and fresh as his first time.
“I’ve had him since he was a foal,” said Tracey who is also six-time British National Masters sprint champion. “He’s only done three shows this year and won at Great Yorkshire show. He’s a pony that’ll stay with me forever.”
A breeding stallion, Gypsy Baron has numerous foals on the ground.
“I’ve got a few of his foals at home with me because I’m breeding now, too,” said Tracey. “He’s a very special boy and his foals carry his beautiful temperament.”
With no arena at her disposal, Tracey uses her local countryside to school Gypsy Baron.
“I hack out over the moors because I don’t have a school at home, so that’s how I get him fit,” she said. “My little boy rides him and he’s so calm and really takes care of him.”
Being a professional athlete and producing top flight show ponies successfully is not an easy task, but it’s one that Tracey relishes.
“I manage it all by being very organised,” she said. “I’m really motivated to win and love competing even though I actually get really nervous. I put everything into it – I never wing it – and always do my absolute best. I manage my nerves by just taking lots of deep breaths. My best friend Chloe Taylor is always by my side and keeps me where I need to be.”
The reserve championship title went to Dunedin Mascot and Katie Common, while Dunedin McSporran and Christopher Grant landed third place.
You might also like…
Credit: Peter Nixon
Credit: Alex Robinson
Don’t miss a second of the action from HOYS on HorseandHound.co.uk with no limit on how much you can read from as little as £1 per week with a Horse & Hound unlimited website subscription. Join now. Plus enjoy our full 22-page HOYS magazine report, including in-depth analysis of all the showing and showjumping, plus exclusive comments, on sale Thursday 13 October.