Project pony top performer

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Pony pal . . . Show jumper Brylee Dunphy and her pony Polly. PHOTO: JESSICA WILSON

While she may have started as a “project pony”, Polly has become a prize-winner.

Dunedin Pony Club show jumper Brylee Dunphy (11) got Polly about two years ago and intended to train her for six months to a year, then sell her.

But the 7-year-old pony exceeded her expectations and together they have won a collection of awards.

The latest was the pony championship in Otago’s 2018 Indoor Show Jumping Series, held earlier this month.

During the three-day event, they competed in three rounds each day – 65cm, 75cm and 85cm jumps – and received 151 points, the highest overall score, to win.

This backed up an impressive performance at the South Island Pony Club Show Jumping Championship in January, where they got two fifth places while competing against about 50 other riders and bigger ponies.

The Springston Trophy, set to be held next month, will be the last event they would compete in together. Polly will be sold after the event.

Brylee said while it would be sad it see her go, she was getting too big for Polly, so knew it was time to move on.

She has another pony to ride – Josh, which she got about two months ago – and she hoped to get another project pony.

Polly was quite “green” when she got her, so Brylee had to teach her flat work, jumping and to not get spooked or distracted.

Brylee has been riding since she was about 2 years old and has been coached by Talia Allison for about six and a-half years.

Long-term, the Taieri College pupil hopes to compete in Horse of the Year and has her sights set on the Olympics one day.