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Home » 27-year-old mounted video games pony ticks main title of his bucket checklist

27-year-old mounted video games pony ticks main title of his bucket checklist

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  • A mounted video games pony who had received titles all over the world has lastly ticked the Prince Philip Cup off his “bucket checklist” aged 27.

    Gemma Hopkin’s 12.2hh Welsh pony Merlin, ridden by Jasmine Willis, was a part of the North Herefordshire Pony Membership workforce that took the honours on the Horse of the 12 months Present (HOYS) final month. The workforce additionally received the Naylors Cup.



    Monmouthshire-based Gemma purchased Merlin, a longtime mounted video games pony then competing for England, 14 years in the past and through the years he taught her two sons, Ben and Sam, to journey.

    “Ben was solely seven and other people couldn’t perceive why I used to be shopping for him, however I knew if I didn’t the chance wouldn’t come up once more,” Gemma advised H&H.

    “For 18 months I took Ben and Merlin to the using college each week and Ben discovered to journey and bounce. When Ben was about 9 they began competing with the Pony Membership.”

    Ben and Merlin grew to become those to beat in mounted video games. Through the years they received six particular person world titles, six world pairs titles, and plenty of European wins. They have been additionally a part of the profitable Welsh workforce at Royal Windsor.

    Ben’s youthful brother Sam took over the reins in 2018 and loved a lot workforce success with Merlin, earlier than the pandemic struck. When competitions restarted Sam had outgrown him and younger rider Jasmine now has the journey.

    “He’s received nearly all the pieces and we’ve travelled all around the world with him, however the Prince Philip Cup was the one we nonetheless needed to tick off the bucket checklist. Ben and Merlin have been second with Monmouthshire Pony Membership in 2017, so for Merlin to lastly get the win is admittedly particular. It felt like he deserved it,” stated Gemma.

    Merlin is managed for PPID [pituitary pars intermedia dysfunction], however at 27 Gemma says he’s the “image of well being” and “appears one million {dollars}”.

    “He’ll compete subsequent yr, however we’ll drop him right down to Pony Membership degree. He’s such a personality and he loves life, he simply thrives on it. He was bouncing behind these purple curtains at HOYS ready to come back out. He loves these lights,” she stated.

    “It’s not the top of the highway for him and he’s nonetheless completely flying. However he doesn’t owe us something. He has a coronary heart of gold and the guts of a lion.”

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