Hard work helps pupil rear Horse of the Year

An 11-year-old The King’s School pupil has beaten off professional stables with her home-reared pony to win at The Horse of the Year competition.

Alice Please and her horse ‘Treowen [corr] Ranger’ were champions in the Show Hunter Pony of the Year class at the prestigious equestrian competition.

Her mum Sarah said she had been rewarded for her ‘fantastic work ethic’ this year, and paid tribute to her ‘hugely committed’ daughter.

Alice, who lives in Marsh Green outside Ottery, had entered twice before with her pony, finishing eight and fifth.

“When she was fifth last year we thought that was the best they would ever do, so to win this year was fantastic,” Sarah said.

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“The class is dominated by professional stables and for a home-reared pony to beat them is pretty amazing.”

She outs their success down to her daughter’s hard work, and having a ‘fantastic pony’.

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“He’s a real character. He’s everyone’s favourite pony.”

Her mother runs a haulage firm with dad Ian, both 43, and they own a small stables where Alice has been training ‘Treowen Ranger’.

Sarah said: “We compete at national level with four ponies, but even so we never expected to win, to get placed would have been extraordinary in itself.”

She said Alice, who started at The King’s in September, has worked ‘exceptionally hard’ to get the pony ready for The Horse of the Year show.

“She has had him for three years now, and he competes in a different class to when we got him, she has completely changed his job.

“But what’s great is that he is her pony, and after school she takes him out in the woods near our house.”

A spokesman from her school said: “Alice has worked tirelessly to compete in a class dominated by professionals and is extremely committed.

“It is a fantastic achievement.”

Sarah said Alice and ‘Treowen Ranger’ have another year to enter the same class, but she is already training up another pony to compete with.

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