A rescue pony from Essex has been crowned Supreme Champion at Kimpton Horse Show for the third year running.

Twenty-year-old, grey Welsh X Arab Noel and his rider Hayley Ward are a true perfect partnership, having won the Supreme Championship at the Kimpton Horse Show for three consecutive years – an achievement by a horse and rider partnership that has not been seen at the Show since 1969!

redwingsOn Sunday 31st July, the dynamic duo took part in the 72nd Kimpton Horse Show in Hertfordshire winning six of the eight classes they entered, including Show Hunter Pony, Working Hunter Pony, Ridden Veteran, Horse and Hound, and 60cm Show Jumping and 70cm Accumulator, which included qualifying for the Sunshine Tour and Veteran Horse Society Regionals 2016. Redwings Noel also took the Hunter Championship overall.
Noel and Hayley’s recent achievement is another string to their bow of success since the pair began their partnership in 2001. Noel was rehomed to Hayley from Redwings Horse Sanctuary’s Essex centre through the charity’s rehoming programme. He was originally rescued in 1998 by Ada Cole Memorial Stables (as it was known before merging with Redwings in 2005), when he was found in very poor condition along with his companion Mistletoe; the pair had been left to fend for themselves while their owner was in prison.

Once Noel had recovered from his ordeal in the care of the Sanctuary, his superstar qualities soon shone through and so he was identified as an ideal candidate for rehoming – and that’s when he met Hayley!

“Noel is incredible pony – he’s a pony of a lifetime,” beams Hayley. “He does, however, know how good he is and uses it to his advantage by being very cheeky at home, but I’m happy to spoil him beyond belief!

“At Kimpton Horse Show on Sunday he just kept winning, and loved every second of showing off and all the attention – I’m surprised his head still fits in his stable! But words cannot describe how immensely proud I am of him. Ever since I began competing at Kimpton I’ve dreamed of winning the Harding Trophy and being Supreme Champion, so to now have won it for the third year running with the same pony just shows how incredible and versatile my Noel is!”

Commenting on Noel and Hayley’s success, Redwings Operation Manager Rachel Angell said:
“At 20 years old and after 15 years with his Guardian, Redwings Noel shows just how important it is that rescued horses are given a second chance at a happy life with a new family. But Hayley and Noel are not just perfect partners in the show ring, they have a special place and make a real difference to each other’s lives, which is why Redwings values companion ponies as much as ridden through our rehoming programme.

“Rehoming a Redwings rescue horse is hugely rewarding – and who knows where your journey will take you! We’re looking forward to hearing Hayley and Noel’s next adventure”.