SION ST. DANIEL
BSPS SUPREME CHAMPION 2001

Photograph by Pleasure Prints

It was four years ago, and I was 11 years old when I attended my first BSPS champs.

I remember how I used to sit and watch all the winners come down the centre line, wishing one day it would be me.

I never imagined that three years down the line I would own such a wonderful pony as Danny, who would take me on to be the supreme of the show.

Each year at the champs a little more of my ambitions have been fulfilled. At my second show I won the 14.2 Blue Riband and last year I was Legend Blue Riband champion.


 

This year was, of course, the best year ever and I owe it all to Danny.
When we tried Danny in July 2000, we all fell in love with his macho frame and the fact he is an unmistakable hunter pony. Then, as we got to know him we fell in love with his kind and loving nature. He is a real gentle giant as well as being a character that makes everyone laugh.

We were thrown in at the deep end, as our first show together was RIHS where we finished a creditable 3rd. We didn't do that many more shows during the rest of the season, but we had a good champs, taking the Classic SHP championship.

This year, a season we thought we weren't having due to foot and mouth, has been a great one even though limited. Danny's wins include two other supremes at Royal Lancs and Staffs Country Festival.

Danny and I started the week at this years champs by taking the All British SHP championship on the Wednesday night, which in itself would have completed the show for us. Danny went from strength to strength during the week, not only by taking more titles, he had also settled in the evening performance, which he hadn't liked the previous year and on the Wednesday night. Danny's more relaxed behaviour in the Friday and Saturday evening performances made the experience of it even more enjoyable. Danny took the open SHP championship on the Friday night and from there he became supreme SHP.

It was a wonderful evening and it was hard to take it all in. Danny who was of course completely unaware of how well he'd done was looking forward to a huge haynet, a big bucket of food and a nice long sleep; he really deserved it too. In the supreme, Danny went beautifully and gave me a lovely ride, as did many others of the fantastic line up of ponies. The decision was entirely in the hands of Authur Illsley. It was amazing to walk forward into the spotlight in the pitch-black arena.

Danny was a little unsure and looked from left to right in the dark wondering what on earth was going on! He behaved just like a champion should and as we cantered our lap of honour together to 'Simply the Best' it was a wonderful feeling that I will never forget, realising we had just won the BSPS supreme, a once in a life time achievement.

After a dream week I felt my partnership with Danny had grown and grown, and I couldn't imagine a nicer pony to win such a wonderful title on. In the three years I have left in the 14hh class, I hope I don't grow so I can spend the rest of that time with Danny. None of this would have been possible if it wasn't for my brilliant and dedicated producer, Gill Thompson. She's the most obsessive perfectionist you'll ever meet and its because of this Danny is the pony he is now.

I'd like to thank the rest of the team, Nick, Sharon, Mandy and John. I'd also like to thank my mum who is my number one supporter. Thank you to my riding teacher Vera Holden who has helped me cope with ponies that don't like the Vauxhall arena! Thank you to my grandparents who back me so generously.

Thank you to the BSPS for a great show.
My biggest thank you, of course, goes to Danny, you're gorgeous and I love you to pieces.