I love my little pony

Briar continuing equestrienne family tradition.

Briar continuing equestrienne family tradition.

Four-year-old Briar Herries loves nothing more than riding her lovely pony Mickey Mouse. Yesterday, in her first Poverty Bay A&P Show competition, she and Mickey took home five ribbons — much to the delight of Briar and her band of enthusiastic supporters. It’s perhaps no surprise. The youngster has some impressive equestrian lineage in mother and former eventer Erika, and grandmother Jean Edney. Pictures by Paul Rickard

Briar Herries had her very own cheering squad helping her get ready for her first-ever Poverty Bay A&P Show and it was no surprise the four-year-old headed home with five ribbons, and a carload of happy but exhausted supporters.

Briar comes from a line of equestriennes. Mum Erika was an eventer and Granny Jean Edney also competed, as well as hunted.

So it was a real team effort to get her 13-year-old pony Mickey Mouse turned out for their lead rein classes — right down to seven-year-old brother Austin’s words of encouragement.

Through it all — from make-up delicately patted on his face to his “pom-pom” braids being sewn along his neck — Mickey Mouse stood patiently. Well, almost.

His worst digression was to tug his pint-sized rider along as he tried to munch mouthfuls of fresh grass, which led to him standing on her tiny Redband gumboot.

All was soon forgotten when Austin produced a bag of sour worms and shared them with one and all while describing his sister and Mickey as “pretty awesome”.

Gisborne was Briar’s second competitive outing with the pony she got at Easter.

Their first was a combined training day at Sunnybank Equestrian with her trainer Karen Bevitt.

Briar only starting riding in February when mum finally relented and took her to Karen for lessons.

“She was rising to the trot at her second lesson and Karen said she thought I was in trouble,” said Erika.

Hawke’s Bay-based Jean agreed. Her granddaughter “certainly has plenty of natural ability”, she said, and it was very special for all three generations to be together for the occasion.

“It was absolutely necessary for Mum to be here,” says Erika whose skills as a make-up artist have been put to excellent use.

Briar, bubbling with excitement and loving her own matching plaits, talked about how she helped her mum and grandmother do all the other work, and how fantastic Mickey Mouse was at trotting.

“That’s his best for sure,” she said. “That and eating, I think.”

The two had a fantastic day, placing second in the novice lead rein pony, third in the open lead rein pony not exceeding 123 centimetres, open paced and mannered and novice rider, and fourth in the best lead rein rider.

These classes feature the youngest riders at the Show but are super competitive.

With her riding over, Briar’s attention has shifted to Austin, who is competing in the pet lamb competition with his woolly mate Lightning.

Briar and Mickey will be back competing later this month at the Hawke’s Bay Show.

“My very favourite thing is riding him,” she said. “It is very exciting.”

Briar Herries had her very own cheering squad helping her get ready for her first-ever Poverty Bay A&P Show and it was no surprise the four-year-old headed home with five ribbons, and a carload of happy but exhausted supporters.

Briar comes from a line of equestriennes. Mum Erika was an eventer and Granny Jean Edney also competed, as well as hunted.

So it was a real team effort to get her 13-year-old pony Mickey Mouse turned out for their lead rein classes — right down to seven-year-old brother Austin’s words of encouragement.

Through it all — from make-up delicately patted on his face to his “pom-pom” braids being sewn along his neck — Mickey Mouse stood patiently. Well, almost.

His worst digression was to tug his pint-sized rider along as he tried to munch mouthfuls of fresh grass, which led to him standing on her tiny Redband gumboot.

All was soon forgotten when Austin produced a bag of sour worms and shared them with one and all while describing his sister and Mickey as “pretty awesome”.

Gisborne was Briar’s second competitive outing with the pony she got at Easter.

Their first was a combined training day at Sunnybank Equestrian with her trainer Karen Bevitt.

Briar only starting riding in February when mum finally relented and took her to Karen for lessons.

“She was rising to the trot at her second lesson and Karen said she thought I was in trouble,” said Erika.

Hawke’s Bay-based Jean agreed. Her granddaughter “certainly has plenty of natural ability”, she said, and it was very special for all three generations to be together for the occasion.

“It was absolutely necessary for Mum to be here,” says Erika whose skills as a make-up artist have been put to excellent use.

Briar, bubbling with excitement and loving her own matching plaits, talked about how she helped her mum and grandmother do all the other work, and how fantastic Mickey Mouse was at trotting.

“That’s his best for sure,” she said. “That and eating, I think.”

The two had a fantastic day, placing second in the novice lead rein pony, third in the open lead rein pony not exceeding 123 centimetres, open paced and mannered and novice rider, and fourth in the best lead rein rider.

These classes feature the youngest riders at the Show but are super competitive.

With her riding over, Briar’s attention has shifted to Austin, who is competing in the pet lamb competition with his woolly mate Lightning.

Briar and Mickey will be back competing later this month at the Hawke’s Bay Show.

“My very favourite thing is riding him,” she said. “It is very exciting.”

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