Newport rider Gabriel to compete in Prince Phillip Cup at Horse of the Year Show

By Matthew Growcott | Newport | News | Published:

Newport teenager Gabriel O’Reilly and his pony Smokey will be competing in the prestigious Prince Phillip Cup next month.

Gabriel and Smokey

The Haberdashers' Adams pupil will be entertaining a crowd of over 60,000 at the NEC for the annual Horse of the Year Show.

Year 11 student Gabriel is part of a team from Sir Watkin Williams Wynn Pony Club, one of just six to have qualified for the Horse of the Year Show from 300 who entered nationally.

Mounted Games involve ponies and their riders in fast paced races which test the competitors’ athleticism, riding skills, hand-to-eye coordination, determination and perseverance. The Prince Phillip Cup competition was created Price Phillip in 1957 and it has been taking place every year since then.

The fiercely competitive qualification process culminated in July when the team of five riders and their ponies won the Central Zone Final. Since then they have combined intensive training with fundraising activities to raise the £7,000 required to support their entry at the final.

Local businesses have donated prizes for an online auction and the team members have organised a quiz, a cake sale and packed bags in a supermarket to help them reach their goal.

The Horse of the Year show will take place from October 1 to 7.

Matthew Growcott

By Matthew Growcott
Reporter - @MGrowcott_Star

Shropshire Star reporter


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