Despite a late start and no county shows or RIHS or HOYS several individuals and the BSPS ran lots of shows in late summer and autumn to give us a chance to see some equine old favourites from the area, and some exciting novice faces.
Chloe Chubb brought out two novices. Both picked up a string of firsts and seconds, taking every possible opportunity to get out. Top novice was Shilstone Rocks River Dart (Rio) who was backed by Jo Burchell over the winter and went to a few winter shows originally aiming for the BSPS Winter Champs before we went into lockdown.
In typical Dartmoor fashion it took us a few attempts to start getting everything into gear but he had a great results at the BSPS Summer champs (which felt more like the winters) where he finished second in the novice small breeds class and winner of the Winter novice final. He also went onto claim reserve winter novice champion and was extremely well behaved in big classes and only about his fourth outing. He also went to the NPS Autumn festival where is he second in his pure novice final. Hopefully next year we will be able to continue gaining experience in novice classes and head to the championship shows again.
Her other novice, Popsters Mister Nando, was second in the home produced award. She bought him as a foal, and had a great short season with some really good results at both the BSPS Summer champs and Heritage champs. He finished second in both the winter and open novice at the Summers and then at the heritage again he finished second in the novice class, third in the restricted and fourth in the young pony. He also won our BSPS Area 14 training show and finished second in the novice final at NPS Autumn festival. As well as notching up some good results on the flat he has also turned his hand to some workers and surprised us all by flying round the novice class at the BSPS Heritage and finishing third in a huge class. He has also qualified for the novice at the BSPS winters and we hope to continue doing some workers next year.
Sophie and William Simmonds and Dartmoor Pumphill Brosnan managed a handful of shows, to be the top first ridden performer. Sophie Simmonds said: "We really enjoyed the variety of clinics available. Sophie and Wills were lucky to meet with good friends at local facilities such as East Byshee and Felcourt X country and of course visiting the beach. We hope 2021 will be a little less restrictive but whatever it throws at us, we will still have fun with our ponies."
Other young members to shine were twins Tabitha and Evanthe Hughes, 9. Tabitha has written about her pony Welsh section A, Towergate First Impression who took the mini whp title and home produced title: "Cracker and I have a really good friendship. He is a great pony because he can do lots of things as well as showing. I take him everywhere ponies can go. Even through Covid-19 I have managed to win the same class on him three times - Tiny Tots Working Hunter - at each of the BSPS championship shows (summer champs, working sports pony and heritage champs). I love him."
Springbourne Compas has been with the family for two years. He won the heritage first ridden at Thames Valley Welsh show and he was second in the heritage cradle stakes at Bsps summer champs. Evanthe Hughes, 9, wrote of seven year old Springbourne Compas: "Compas is a great pony for everything! This year he has won many things in lead rein, first ridden and working hunter. I don't know what I would do without him. I wish there were some more shows! Thank you so much Compas for being you!"
The family's other pony was Newoak Star Edition also had an excellent season taking the area 14 lead rein title.
On the plaited worker front Georgia Darlington had a great 2020: "Our year started off brilliantly with my new young intermediate worker Jara (Fiona) winning her first ever open worker, qualifying for Royal International at BSPS Area 6. The next day at BSPS Area 17 my intermediate show riding type DPUK Nighthawk (Barney) owned by Emma Coulstock also won and qualified for the Royal International. Then obviously we went into lockdown.
"While there were no showing shows in the south, I mainly showjumped all summer. Lisa's Dream (Lisa) qualified for the Discovery Final at Aintree where she jumped the 2nd fastest round of the class, unfortunately luck wasn't on our side keeping the fences up and we placed just outside the top 10. But I felt it was a huge achievement to get there on my little pony against all the fancy bred horses! I also qualified her and Fiona both to jump in the main ring at Hickstead in September which was a brilliant experience! Fiona also has qualified for newcomers 2nd rounds and has now stepped up to foxhunter!
"We then went to the BSPS summer champs with Fiona and Barney and had a brilliant show and it was lovely to get back out and see our showing friends again! Fiona had a 3rd, 4th and 5th in her classes and Barney won the 'Best of the best' isrt class!"