HOYS Qualifiers in the Westcountry
Native Pony Sou'West are committed to promoting all of the British Native Ponies in the Westcountry and we feel passionately that ponies based in the region should not be penalised from national competitions.
Horse of the Year Show is a prestigious event, hosted by Grandstand Media at the Birmingham NEC in October and qualifiers are held across the country for all mountain and moorland ponies. Qualifiers are split into three main sections - open flat, working hunter pony and mini (leading rein & first ridden) and shows may host one, two or all three sections. The number of HOYS qualifiers available in the Westcountry has been dwindling since 2010 when Royal Cornwall first lost their HOYS qualifiers for the open flat classes. By 2013, there were only two single tickets to Horse of the Year Show, one for Dartmoor ponies in Devon and one for Exmoor ponies in Somerset, both of which have been awarded the qualifiers by their breed societies. In 2014, the Exmoor pony breed qualifier has been re-awarded to the Midlands Area Show and so, this means that for 2014, the ONLY remaining Horse of the Year Show qualifier will be the Dartmoor Breed Show in Devon, open only to Dartmoor ponies with one ticket being awarded.
The quality of native pony in the region is high and yet our overall representation at Horse of the Year Show is low as competitors struggle to meet the financial demands of having to travel to South Wales or the Midlands for an attempt to gain their qualification. Ponies that have made the journey are at a disadvantage as they are expected to perform at top level following incredibly long periods of travelling.
We passionately believe that the Westcountry is deserving of HOYS qualifying shows for all mountain & moorland sections and would respectfully request that the region is allocated a number of Horse of the Year Show mountain and moorland qualifiers by Grandstand Media for 2014.