EMILY-JAYNE McPolin and her stunning, nine-year-old roan Connemara mare ‘Glenmore Miss Mirah’ (‘Marley’) have claimed the coveted title of 153cm Working Hunter Pony of the Year at Birmingham NEC in fabulous style, at their Horse of the Year Show (HOYS) debut.
Having successfully competed ‘Marley’ for the past three years, both in the Working Hunter plaited and Mountain and Moorland classes, it was always Emily-Jayne’s ambition to qualify ‘Marley’ and compete at HOYS.
As this was her last year in the 153 Working Hunter class, she was even more determined. Competing regularly overseas, alongside her sister Sarah and her Connemara gelding ‘Magic Rhythm’, they spurred each other on as they chased their dream and performed their best.
Knocking on the door at every show and picking up a sixth at the Royal International Horse Show at Hickstead, Emily-Jayne and ‘Marley’ firstly qualified for the Mountain and Moorland class at the NPS Summer Championships at the Three Counties Showgrounds, Malvern. This was followed a few weeks later when they gained their 153cm plaited qualifier at the BSPS (British Show Pony Society) Summer Championships at Arena UK, Grantham.
Upon their return from Grantham, the partnership competed successfully at Balmoral Show, where they were admirably awarded with Reserve Working Hunter Pony, Champion and Reserve Mountain and Moorland Working Hunter Pony Champion.
Competing firstly at the Horse of the Year Show on the Thursday in the Mountain and Moorland class, this fabulous partnership displayed a foot-perfect round, exhibiting their versatility and scope to pick up a sixth place, foreshadowing the success that lay ahead.
The following day, Emily-Jayne was delighted with ‘Marley’, when they performed another amazing round in the 153cm plaited class, followed by a beautiful show. With only two clears in the class, their performance, alongside ‘Marley’s’ quality and presence, they were crowned the undeniable winner.
After her success, Emily-Jayne paid tribute firstly to her dad, who faithfully drives them across to the UK for each show and then to ‘Marley’, the ‘Westside Mirah’ mare, stating that she would jump the moon for you, she goes all out and tries hard and, as this was her last year in the plaited class, she wanted to do really well. Whilst she was delighted to come sixth the day before, she could never have imagined she’d do this well on Friday.
A further tribute must be given to her mum and sister Sarah, who with their companionship and excellent grooming skills, have been a tremendous support to Emily-Jayne; and to Joanne Jarden, whose support and expertise has been invaluable to the two sisters.
Congratulations are extended to ‘Marley’s’ breeder, Ms Jeann McClancy, who bred this wonderful Connemara mare from her dam, ‘City West Heather Belle’ (‘Murphy Rebel’) by the stallion ‘Westside Mirah’.