Tiny Perdita knocks spots off her rivals to land nurse Charlotte her first Hickstead title  

Pontypridd’s Charlotte Leonard and Nicky Nelson’s prolific miniature mare Karosel Alamo’s Perdita took yet another title at Longines Royal International Horse Show in West Sussex.

This time, she added the BMHS Supreme Miniature Horse Championship to an impressive tally that includes back-to-back wins in the BMHS Three Years Old and Over Championship for miniature mares.

“I’m ecstatic – it’s something we’ve tried so hard to get, and we’ve been reserve champions three times, and she’s won here four years in a row,” says Leonard, who exhibited the mare in the arena. “She knows her job and she loves it.”

The spotted mare might only measure in at 87cm tall, but getting her in peak show condition requires a similar amount of work as much larger equines.

“A British miniature is just like a tiny show horse, so they take a lot of work – a lot of lunging, and a lot of in-hand exercise,” Leonard explains. “It’s a bit like producing a lead-rein pony, except without the jockey.”

Though many of her competitors work full-time as showing producers, Leonard shows horses as a way to unwind from her busy job as a nurse. Alongside her miniatures, she also produces ridden horses and native ponies.

“It’s a massive family affair, and a real team effort to do it,” she says. “We had a very famous stallion who did so well and was reserve in this championship, but never quite won it – so we’ve won this for him.”

The Longines Royal International Horse Show at Hickstead in West Sussex runs from 23-28 July, with international showjumping being held alongside championship showing classes and national jumping competitions.

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