ONE of the youngest competitors in this year’s Baileys Horse Feeds Flexi Eventing is 11-year-old Abi Gardner from Comber, with her lovely little eight-year-old pony, ‘Hillside Nicely Dun’, also known as ‘Danny’. Abi is the daughter of former eventer, Elaine Gardner, who enjoyed many wins over the years with ‘Da Capo Two’.
‘Danny’ came to the Gardner yard at the start of lockdown, when he was just five years old from Elaine’s good friend and local vet, Rachel Robertson. At the time, Abi’s own pony, ‘Buster’, was on his winter break and her dad, Jeremy, said he could not deal with his pony-loving daughter without a steed.
Initially, ‘Danny’ was meant to say for only two weeks, but over two years later, he is the main man at team Gardner!
Abi has produced this little pony herself, under the watchful eyes of her trainers, Carolyn Mellor for dressage and James Hogg for show jumping. Abi loves to take time with her ponies and thrives on seeing them progress in their work.
Huge thanks also must go to Elaine McKee from Equi Suds Equine Laundry for her continued support and encouragement towards Abi’s training.
Abi’s tender age belies her ability, determination and tenacity. She has already set her 2023 goals at SJI competitions, NIF at Cavan, RUAS and, if her mother’s nerves allow, some two-phase and One-Day Events!
Abi, all at Eventing Ireland Northern Region wish you every success and hope that all your dreams and aspirations come to fruition. They certainly look forward to watching your progress with pride.
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