by Lily Gredley

Photograph by Pleasure Prints

When we first bought Tonic, in 1999, it was a very daunting prospect as she had already been phenomenally successful with Kerry Argyle, having been S.H.P. Champion at R.I.H.S. and the Disney Supreme Champion twice.


The first year I had Tonic we made slow progress as I found her very powerful and a little overwhelming. I also felt people were watching closely and waiting for me to make a mistake, as she had already been so successful.

I had always been very nervous of jumping. I had originally planned to have Tonic as a S.H.P. but later discovered that the key to Tonic is jumping, as this is when she is at her happiest. The more I jumped her, the more I gained confidence.

Our first proper win was in the Lee-Smith W.H.P. at the 2000 P.U.K. Summer Championships. We went show jumping throughout the winter, which helped tremendously.

2001 has been a very good year for us with numerous wins including first and reserve champion at East of England, first and Champion at Kent County and a first at Mid Herts County, which were Wembley qualifiers. First and champion in the Colne W.H.P. at P.U.K. Summer Championships and first and reserve champion in the All British. She also qualified for R.I.H.S. first time out and gained an individual third in the English Team. However, our best win this year has to be the Desert Orchid in which we were Champion.

This was our last class of the week at the B.S.P.S. Summer Championships, after already coming first and reserve champion in the All British earlier in the week. I was expecting Tonic to be very tired. However, she seemed to be saving up all her energy. She flew round the very long and testing course with ease.

Tonic is a once in a lifetime pony, she is an amazing jumper, has superb conformation and a brilliant personality. She is certainly the most affectionate pony I have ever known. I am extremely proud of her and hope to do even better with her in 2002.

I owe a special thanks to Mitch Doyle who has been our main help and encouragement, and to my mother as without her none of this would have been possible.