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Wednesday, 19 December, 2018

Victory for Newmarket at Pony of the Year Show

Brightening your day with turf tales from beyond the tracks

Adele Shaw on her pony Manor Pearl, winners of the under-11 Grand Prix
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Many eyes from the racing world, including champion Flat jockey Silvestre de Sousa, were on the Pony of the Year Show last week to see the budding stars in a sphere that has spawned the likes of Jim Crowley, the 2016 champion jockey.

The show was held at its new home, Onley Grounds near Rugby, Warwickshire, and the competitors included De Sousa's son Ryan as well as Adele Shaw, whose parents Andrew and Fiona own the Newmarket-based transport company Rapido Racing.

Adele, 11, won the 11-year-old and under Grand Prix in fine style on her pony Manor Pearl, while Ryan de Sousa performed with credit to make the finals.

The Shaw/De Sousa connection came about when Adele began taking lessons with Silvestre's wife Vicky, herself a former jockey, at their premises near Exning, near Newmarket.

Adele, who purchased her mount from the De Sousas, said: "I could hear everyone shouting, it made me go faster. Thanks to Vicky and Silvestre for all their help."

Thanks to Mellor

A special presentation was held by the Old Berks Hunt point-to-point committee on Easter Monday to commemorate 18 years of service by former top jump jockey and trainer Stan Mellor.

The celebration, presented by chairman David Leigh-Pemberton, was held at Lockinge to thank Mellor for his time as a member of the committee until January 2018, when he stood down.

One of the most successful riders of his era, Mellor was crowned champion jockey three years in a row from 1960 to 1962. He became the first jump jockey to ride over 1,000 winners, hitting that mark in December 1971. Among his big-race victories were the Whitbread Gold Cup and the Queen Mother Champion Chase.

Stan Mellor: the former champion jockey served 18 years on the Old Berk Hunt point-to-point committee

Upon retiring, he was awarded an MBE in recognition of his contribution to horseracing. He started out as a trainer in Lambourn before moving to a larger yard near Swindon, which he named Pollardstown after his 1979 Triumph Hurdle winner.

Mellor went on to train over 700 winners, including two victories in the Whitbread Gold Cup, before selling Pollardstown and retiring to Ashbury in 2001.

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I could hear everyone shouting, it made me go faster
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