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  Magazine Page 10   Cleveland Grey by Rachel Pickard

Over the last two years Rachel Pickard and her striking Cleveland Sporthorse Natterjack Toad have delighted Cleveland enthusiasts and audiences at many shows across the South of the UK. We asked Rachel to tell us how she came to be riding a Cleveland and relate some of their successes to date. 2009 promises to be a exciting year with the pair entered for a catalogue of events.

  Our association with Cleveland bays started twentyfive years ago when a close family friend purchased a yearling. My Mother then booked the foal, a full sister by Forest Field Day, and duly picked up Sutton Day Break, stable name Meg in September. We had great fun with the two sisters jumping various UK chaser courses and competing very successfully in dressage.
  We then bred from both mares for several years with Meg’s last foal in 1999 resulting in Natterjack Toad. Toad’s sire is John Parker’s Norwich Union Grey, Csibesz, a Hungarian Thoroughbred who stands at Warmwell Stud. This is where Toad got his colour and duly became our Cleveland Grey! Toad was a character from the start and soon became a firm part of our family.
  I grew up with Meg and was riding both the sisters bareback on the lunge when I was only 3 ½ years old. Now I compete Toad in Open Lightweight Hunter, Amateur Lightweight and since 2007, in Ladies Hunter classes.
  In 2005 with Toad now a six year old we competed in the SEIB Search for a Star Hunter class and qualified for the final at Horse of the Year Show (HOYS). In the final at HOYS we were placed 2nd and also won best turned out, something that I am very proud of.

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Photo by Realtime Imaging
Royal Show 2007

  We began competing in Ladies Hunter classes in 2007 and qualified for the Royal International Horse Show (RIHS) at our first attempt in both Ladies and Amateur Hunters. At RIHS in the Ladies Hunter class we came 6th in a very large strong class. Throughout the season we continued to compete in HOYS qualifiers but narrowly missed out on qualifying. The Royal Show was more successful where we competed in the Cleveland Bay Ridden class and won and also got Champion.

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Photo by Horsepower Photography
New Forest Show 2008

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Photo Realtime Imaging
National Hunter Championships 2008

  At the National Hunter Supreme Championship Show we were placed 5th in the Amateur LW Hunter class, which put us through to the evening performance. Then at the Royal County of Berkshire Show we got a 2nd in the Ladies hunter and a 2nd and reserve champion in the Amateur LW Hunter class both of which qualified us for RIHS in 2009.

  We had an amazing time at HOYS, Toad was a star in the main ring but unfortunately we did not get included in the top 7 to get put through to the final judging, but we didn’t mind as we had got there and that was such an achievement. We also had a great fan CB fan club cheering us on which was extremely generous!

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Photo by Equinational
HOYS 2008 - Ladies Hunter

  Although Showing is Toad's main job he also competes throughout the winter in unaffiliated dressage where he is successful at Novice and Elementary level.

In 2009 results to date include:

Spring Festival of Showing 11/4/09 - RIHS Amateur LW 4th out of 15
  RIHS Open Ladies Hunter 2nd out of 7
Royal Bath & West Show 27/5/09 - RIHS Open LW Hunter 5th
  RIHS Open Ladies hunter 3rd
  RIHS Amateur LW Hunter 5th

Royal Cornwall Show 4/6/09- HOYS qualifier - Open Ladies Hunter - did not compete
South of England 11/6/09- HOYS qualifiers - Open LW Hunter 6th
  Open Ladies Hunter 3rd
Derbyshire County 20/6/09- HOYS Qualifier - Open Ladies Hunter 3rd
  CB ridden class 1st & Champion
  Side saddle equitation 3rd
  Reserve Supreme Champion of the show
The Royal Show 7-10/7/09- HOYS qualifier - Open LW Hunter unplaced
  HOYS qualifier - Open Ladies Hunter 6th
  CB ridden class 3rd
Kent County Show 18/7/09- HOYS qualifier - Open Ladies Hunter 5th
Royal International Horse Show 23-25/7/09 - Open Ladies Hunter 8th out of 22
  Amateur LW Hunter 6th out of 28
  Betty Skelton Memorial side-saddle class 10th out of 28
New Forest Show 28/7/09 - HOYS qualifiers - Open LW Hunter 5th
  Open Ladies Hunter 5th
National Side saddle championship show 31/7/09 - HOYS qualifier - Open Ladies Hunter - Did not compete

Monmouthshire 27/8/09- HOYS qualifiers - Open LW Hunter - 5th
  Open Ladies Hunter - 1st - QUALIFIED FOR HOYS 2009

Edenbridge and Oxted 31/8/09- HOYS qualifiers - Open LW Hunter & Open Ladies Hunter - Did not compete

We expect to be at the following shows:

Moreton in Marsh 5/9/09- HOYS qualifiers - Open LW Hunter & Open Ladies Hunter

National Hunter Supreme Championship Show 8/9/09 - Qualified for - Open LW Hunter, Open LW Ladies Hunter & Amateur LW Hunter.

Addington 15/9/09 - HOYS qualifier- Open LW Hunter

Horse of the Year Show - 8/10/09 - Ladies Hunter

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