AN electric atmosphere greeted competitors in the TopSpec Arena for the Black Country Saddles Show Hunter Championship at this year’s Equifest.
And having made the leap from dressage to showing just four months ago, Homegrown Phoenix ridden by Elliot Dowler claimed the championship spoils.
The 12-year-old bay gelding started his winning ways when heading the Middleweight Hunters earlier in the day before moving into the TopSpec Arena for the evening performance.
Brought over from Ireland in April by the Miller family, Phoenix as he is known at home is produced by their daughter-in-law Leona Sanders from Bury St Edmunds.
Ridden by family friend, Elliot, Phoenix previously competed in dressage over in Ireland and started in the show ring in June this year.
Said Leona: “It was fantastic to watch Elliot and Phoenix in the evening performance, the atmosphere was just fantastic but he behaved impeccably and never put a foot wrong.
“We are having great fun with him and have also qualified for HOYS which we are all very excited about.
“Phoenix has a wonderful temperament and has taken to showing brilliantly. He has a lot of presence and was just superb on the evening.”