Thirteen-year-old Leah Smedley from Cotmanhay took part in her first ever show with pony Alfie at Hargate Equestrian Centre, Hilton, Derby today and surpassed all expectations.

Leah’s mum Jemma said: “At just 4 years old this pony is an absolute diamond – he has shown manners and maturity well beyond his years and so has Leah – what a bond they have developed – I’m so flipping proud!

“Alfie has had everything thrown at him today, things he has never seen or heard before yet he was a little saint and he took it all in his stride. Leah has worked so hard with him and they so deserved the ribbons and sash they won.”

Leah and her younger brothers are members the Cavendish Bridge riding school at Shardlow. Three years ago Leah was chosen by Dodson and Horrell, horsefeed manufacturers, to be featured on all their products.

Leah and her mum spent yesterday scrubbing up Alfie the grey pony for today’s event – result: best looking pony in the show!

Leah’s placings:
Novice Ridden – 5th
Novice Rider – 3rd
In hand M&M – 3rd
Open in hand – 2nd
Young handler – 1st
Best condition horse or pony – 1st
Then…… Champion in hand!

Leah said: “I couldn’t be prouder of Alfie today. He proved what a little star he is and all the hard work is paying off. I’m so excited for our future. If we can go out on our first show and get these results, it’s got to be good for the future. When I got him he hadn’t done anything as he was only just broken in and just a baby. We have taught each other and learnt together. He is my best friend and I couldn’t love him any more.”

Mum Jemma summed it up: “What a day and what a first show. Thank you to all who shared it with us.”

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