Shearwater are a long standing supporter of The National Pony Society providing insurance cover for their members, as well as sponsoring the Shearwater ridden classes at the summer championship show, which takes place each year in Malvern.
This years championship show takes place on the 1st – 3rd August with the Shearwater finals being held on the 1st with an evening championship. The Shearwater classes are formed of individual breed classes for the native ponies with 12 classes in total. The classes are unique as in the championship there is a new judge who will ride all the exhibitors – from Shetlands to Fells, to Welsh A’s and New Forests.
We caught up with last years overall Champion the beautiful Welsh Section B mare Northlight Coppellia ridden and owned by Kate Williams to find out what makes her so special.
“Coppellia, or Queen Cops, as we call her, was bred by the Waterhouse family in Yorkshire and since then has been well travelled. She spent most of her younger life at the Locksley stud in Sweden where she had three palomino foals by their stallion Locksley Don Galliano. As a 7-year old she was transported back to the UK where she was broken and started her ridden career. We bought her just backed and she proved to be a typical chestnut mare but eventually came around to the job.’
‘At home she is a complete sweetheart at all times and one of the easiest ponies I’ve ever owned. She is also possibly the greediest horse I’ve ever had and will eat anything you put in front of her, she only has to sniff a bit of grass and will put on a stone. There is only one show a year that she cannot stand and she is always naughty there and that is Horse of the Year Show.’
‘In the four years we have had her she has qualified for HOYS four times (including the junior class 2016) and has won 5 qualifiers over the last 4 years. In 2015, she also qualified for Olympia and RIHS (the only time we tried to qualify). She has also won the Ringside Final at NPS Champs and has won numerous bronze medals in hand. Her biggest achievement was winning Overall Ridden Champion at the Royal Welsh 2015.’
‘I think she has been so successful due to her balanced movement and correct conformation. To me that is the key to her success. She is very much like marmite and people either love her or they hate her. She also has the ‘look at me attitude’ and if she wants to win that day she will make sure she does.’
‘I really enjoyed doing the Shearwater class at NPS champs. It was different to other classes as the judge had to ride each pony. Being ridden by the judge at NPS Champs meant Cops got to show off her talents and prove what a lovely ride she gives.’
‘Cops is now officially retired from the ridden job and has been scanned in foal this year to last years Cuddy Supreme In Hand Champion, Moelgarnedd Stadros. We are looking forward to all the beautiful babies she will produce. I would also one day love to show her in hand in the mare and foal class at the Royal Welsh but until then she will spend the rest of her days relaxing in the field.’
Last years champion and reserve