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Bear’s on top of the world again
Thursday, 03 January 2013
EXMOOR Pony stallion Hawkwell Versuvius has won a major title for the second year running.
Also known as ‘Bear’, he and owner Dawn Westcott, of the Holtball Exmoor Pony Stud at Luccombe, have won the International Horse Agility Club Worldwide OHLA League.
Entrants from across the globe tackle set courses and videos of their performances are judged by Horse Agility Club founder Vanessa Bee.
They accumulate league points throughout the year , and Dawn and eight-year-old Bear finished with 774 points to take the World Championship by 102 points.
Reserve world champions Beth Smith and Desi, from Canada, gained 672 points, and in third place with 448 points were Sue Engle and Sherbert from the USA.
“I’ve enjoyed the challenge of competing in the same classes as our counterparts from Canada, USA, Australia and the rest of the world,” said Dawn.
“The standard is high and it’s good that we are all completing exactly the same course format, with the same judging panel assessing us.
“This year, Bear has improved his ability to work at liberty, particularly in wild agility where he navigates natural obstacles in wide open spaces and seems to really enjoy it.
“I very much hope that, through the Bear’s achievements in horse agility, we’re helping to raise the profile of the Exmoor Pony breed, the closest relatives to the North West European prehistoric horse, and their immense intelligence and trainability.
“We hope to progress that work through activities including pony agility in our new Exmoor Pony Club.
“The ‘equine internet competition’ has well and truly arrived and gives ordinary horse owners the opportunity to connect and compete in an international arena.
“We will be harnessing these opportunities for Exmoor ponies and launching an internet video showing competition in 2013, as well as running demos and workshops in agility, horse behaviour and positive, trust-based horsemanship on Exmoor.
“With their ancient wisdom, Exmoor ponies can teach us a lot about horsemanship which can benefit horse and pony owners across all spheres.”
A short video of Bear’s 2012 wild agility and liberty clips can be seen at http://www.youtube. com/watch?v=7Y3pkku71Sw. More information about training and activities with Dawn can be found at www.exmoorponyclub.co.uk.
Photo: Rod Smith
All content © of West Somerset Free Press unless stated otherwise.
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