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Moonpenny Delphinus wins 2022 HOYS M&M 122cm working hunter last

  • Exmoor ponies took both first and second spots in the Thor Atkinson Steel Fabrications Ltd HOYS 122cm M&M working hunter pony final at the 2022 Horse of the Year Show (HOYS).

    Coming out on top was Debbie Barker-Runiewicz and her own 10-year-old gelding Moonpenny Delphinus. Out of Firthesden Poppy, “Finn” is out of Moonpenny Aquarius, who Debbie jumped in the HOYS 133cm M&M working hunter pony of the year final just an hour before.

    Finn was backed by Lauren Brill for his breeders, the Bryant Family, who were present at the NEC to watch him win this year. He then joined Frankie Currell, second in the HOYS 122cm M&M working hunter pony final with Jacqueline Wharton’s seven-year-old stallion Dunkery Black Grouse, before Debbie bought him in 2019.

    “His Dad [Moonpenny Aquarius] jumps in the 133cms and Finn jumps in the 122cms,” explained Debbie, who runs a livery yard. “Finn has got better and better with time, and this is the icing on the cake after lots of hard work.”

    “He probably has every typical Exmoor trait you could think of,” Debbie continued. “One of my friends said today ‘is this the pony you had to reverse off the lorry because he wouldn’t come off forwards’, and it is!”

    Debbie and Finn qualified for HOYS at the North of England Summer show.

    “This not only marks my first HOYS win but my first HOYS placing,” said Debbie, who rode at the NEC for the first time last year with both Finn and Aquarius.

    “The course rode well, but I was mainly focused on keeping him relaxed; he can get quite tense so my aim was to keep him soft and light, and he loved it.”

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