Sister Act played to a bumper crowd at the Liverpool International Horse Show on Saturday afternoon as 11-year-old Poppy Deakin delivered a box-office performance.
Poppy’s victory in the 128cms Pony Championship, sponsored by Squibb Group, came barely 24 hours after her sister Kirsten Deakin triumphed in one of the international amateur classes.
Six combinations made it through to the jump-off, and it was Poppy and Munsboro Plunkett that took the title in a time of 38.57 seconds, with Charlie Atkinson and Daffodil finishing second and Rachel Proudley in third on Painted Lady IV.
“It’s wonderful to win here,” Poppy said. “It is a great opportunity in an amazing atmosphere.
“We’ve had the pony since the summer. He is quite fast, and it is a case of the bigger the better, really, in terms of the fences. He just jumps his heart out. He is amazing.
“I have never done anything like this before, but I really enjoyed it. It was great fun in there with the crowd.”
For Kirsten, meanwhile, it proved an equally-memorable occasion, and she could not have been more proud of her sister.
“I am so happy,” Kirsten said. “She has done amazingly. I came here last year, and Poppy was desperate to come here this time and take part. It is fantastic.”
Saturday’s competitions began with a prolific Liverpool winner taking centre-stage.
Manchester-based Angel Tough was a star of the inaugural Liverpool show two years ago, and she again made her mark, winning the 1.30m amateur class, sponsored by Clip My Horse.TV.
Riding Callumbus, Angel’s jump-off time of 37.56 seconds proved enough for victory, with Abbie Summers and Quantas finishing second on 37.90 and Kerstin Deakin taking third aboard Sunsolde.
The amateur 1.15m one-round class, sponsored by John Deere by Turner Groundcare, produced a win for Polly Shaw and Golden Grove Ait A in a time of 51.74 seconds, finishing more than a second clear of Grace Wallace and Eau Claire V, with Paul Carroll and Castleroche La Roche taking third.