We are delighted to announce that Suzanna Welby has been appointed as the new Patron of Ponies UK. Many of you will know of her enthusiasm and the enormous contribution she has made to the showing world. Commenting Suzanna said 'I am honoured and delighted to be invited to be the Patron of Ponies Association (UK). It is daunting to follow in the footsteps of my predecessor Mrs Joan Lee -Smith. Her legendary vision created the Society of today which has been the source of so much pleasure for so many showing enthusiasts at all levels, but I will do my utmost, at all times, to promote and further the Association. Here is to the brightest future!' Suzanna has been involved with horses all her life learning to ride aged six in Qatar on the Emir's Arabian horses. Her later childhood, which she describes as 'magical', was spent hunting in the West Country, competing in gymkhanas and showing ponies throughout the summer. Aged twenty, she produced, from home, the renowned show hack, Ridgewood Venture, for the latter part of his very illustrious career. This continued into his fourteenth year when he was never out of the ribbons, including adding the elusive championship at the Royal Show to his already outstanding tally. In retirement, he and Suzanna caused a sensation when they appeared at the Opening Meet of the Belvoir Hunt, the horse having gone as part of the package when she married her magnificently supportive, not remotely horse minded husband, Charles!
Her children Venetia, Zinnia and Isadora have enjoyed a thrilling career with show and hunter ponies winning both H.O.Y.S, R.I.HS and many major championships. Three of these ponies went on to be the family's foundation mares. Almost unbeaten as brood mares, their first progeny are now due to make their show ring debut. As the pony breeding programme continues, Zinnia and Isadora have embarked on a return to the show ring, following in Suzanna's footsteps, with a new team of hacks and hunters. However, the arrival of her first grandchild may very well mean that we could see Suzanna back with the lead reins soon!
We look forward to that and all families who love this game continuing to be involved whatever the generation.