Not a Shadow of a Doubt

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Photo: Meg Fleming and Silver Shadow at Horse of the Year Show 2013 by Annie Studholme

Meg Fleming teamed up with a super pro to take out the Waimai Welsh Pony Stud Supreme Ridden Open Pure Bred Welsh Exhibit of the Year in 2013 . . . and she’s travelling up from Canterbury to hopefully do it all again this year.

The 11-year-old from Lincoln in Christchurch won the prize aboard Silver Shadow.

It’s not the first time Shadow has shone – in 2012 he also won the supreme ribbon, and in 2012 Meg’s older sister Kate represented New Zealand on the “very special” horse at Werribee in Australia after winning the Small Saddle Hunter Pony of the Year. Meg was runner-up in that same class in 2013 and while that did qualify her for Australia, she did not make the trip.

Mum Janet says Shadow is bomb proof.

“We have had him five years and he is just one of those very special ponies,” she says.

Her son, who has Down Syndrome, has also ridden the 12.1hh Shadow.

Shadow has been a lead rein and first ridden pony and was passed to Meg after Kate grew too big.

Kate had a brilliant time with the spunky little fellow, taking out the Branston Cup at the Canterbury A and P Show twice – Meg has managed to go one better though, winning it twice – and in 2012 winning titles in both the small saddle hunter and supreme welsh divisions.

“He has won so many ribbons,” says Janet. “The first year we went up to HOY, Meg won the Lead Rein Rider of the Year (2010) and he has picked up a title each year since.”

But this isn’t a family who arrive in the north thinking they are on a raid mission.

“Coming from Christchurch you always think you are not good enough . . . it is a long way to come.”

However, Janet says it underlines what a great little pony Shadow is.

“He has lots of personality and is a gently soul.”

The family have turned down many an offer for Shadow, and that is likely to continue.

“He is our pet! He loves his job and is exceptional at it.”

The family live on a lifestyle block with five horses – two Welsh, two paint jumping ponies and a warm blood.

Both girls are likely to be riding at the 2014 NRM Horse of the Year Show – Meg in the Welsh, small saddle hunter, rider class and Wonder Memorial (for unity). Kate is still deciding just what she will line up in.