Sharrock Legend Blue Riband 128cm Show Pony 2001

Photograph by Pleasure Prints

We first saw Colbeach Martina in the Wembley Qualifier at the Scottish BSPS Summer Championships held at Kinross in 1995. Needless to say she won the 128cm class and was Show Pony Champion.

Our daughter, Lucinda was only 4 years old at the time and we had Lechlade Melissa. At the end of the show Bob and Julie Templeton arranged for a photograph to be taken of the days Champions; Lechlade Melissa - Mini Champion, Crawel Rosanna - Rserve Mini Champion and Colbeach Martina - Show Pony Champion.

When I eventually received this photograph I said I would like to own all three ponies, and I have! All these ponies have given us a great deal of enjoyment and a great number of wins too! Very unfortunately, our First Ridden pony Barkway Teddy Bear died of colic just a the start of last summer 2000, for the first time we were without a National level pony.

We knew it was a bit pointless trying to find another First Ridden pony as Lucinda, although only eight, was so tall. Nothing much seemed to be for sale, until we heard on the "grapevine" that Colbeach Martina may be for sale.

Immediately, we telephoned the owner and the deal was done! She arrived at Julie Templeton's yard on the Wirral a few days later; Julie was delighted to have the little mare back under her wing, as well as the jockey who she taught rising trot on Donny back in the Spring of 1996.

We arrived at the BSPS Summer Championships not expecting anything, just to have a good show, every night we watched the wonderful evening performance. On Friday night Lucinda asked why it always seemed to be everyone else who won 'the big ones' - my reply "All good things come to those that wait!"... Little did I know what was in store ... We started Saturday morning knowing we had gone well on the Thursday section and once again Martina put on a faultless performance.

Martina's breeder Mrs Renita White had watched their performance and was very hopeful we would be in the top four or five. Unfortunately, after a long day Mrs White had returned to her hotel by the time the evening performance started. We stood with Julie by the tunnel entrance into the Indoor ring.

The commentator announced the winners in reverse order "Tenth..." I grabbed Julie's arm "We're not tenth". "We're not ninth... eighth... seventh... sixth... fifth... fourth...".

By this time Lucinda had tears rolling down her face... Martina as ever stood like a rock. Then only Martina and Glenmoss Juiet remained on the back line to be pulled forwards. I turned to Julie in tears... I was so happy to be second.

Then everyone erupted and started hugging and kissing us! We had won! Sharrock Legend Blue Riband 128cm Show Pony 2001 - Colbeach Martina and Lucinda Finlay. Martina calmly walked forward to get her trophy and rosette. Then off she went to the echoes of Tina Turner 'Simply the Best' and very fitting the music was too.

The movement of Colbeach Martina on top form is unrivalled; her hoof was not quite touching her nose in full trot! Back at the Julie Templeton camp Lucinda was completely overcome and was stripped out of her show gear and put to bed for an hour to calm down before the Championship. We were all so pleased to have won the class that we were quite relaxed for the Championship and it showed as Lucinda and Martina went out to do their show, short simple but with great movement, the crowd erupted again the very second she had finished her show and the scores went up to prove the judges loved them too! Sharrock Legend Blue Riband Show Pony Champion 2001 - Colbeach Martina and Lucinda Finlay.

It was an incredible finish to a wonderful show. We will all remember the day forever.

A special thank you to the BSPS for putting on such a wonderful event and the inspiration for creating the 'Hall of Champions'. The Wembley crown has always alluded her, but even without the Wembley title she must surely be the most successful 12.2hh Show Pony who has consistently year after year carried so many different children to be Show Pony Champion at the highest level. Only one problem exists 'Where do I find the 13.2 or 14.2 Martina?'.