ACROSS all equestrian disciplines every once in a while a partnership between horse and rider develops that is nothing short of legendary. In the world of pony showing few would doubt that this is the case for Poppy Carter and her pony of a lifetime Rotherwood Rainmaker. Courtesy of their sponsor Black Country Saddles mum Katy Carter tells us more…
FROM a young prima donna, scared of getting wet, Rotherwood Rainmaker now dances to another level even in the heaviest of Great British downpours. The delightful bay, 128cm Show Pony is made of the stuff of legends and has in recent years with his equally talented jockey Poppy Carter, won every major championship before them.
But what makes this partnership just so very special – mum Katy provides the inside information! “He was just so difficult as a youngster and although I liked him when we went to see him, he definitely didn’t shout wow factor in the stable. “Dad saw him advertised on the internet and we decided to go and see him at Di and George Brereton’s yard in Wales.
“As a three-year-old and in the stable you could see he was nice, but in a way quite ordinary, it was when he started to trot I just said we had to have him! “The lift in his movement was just fantastic and he transformed into a star that I knew judges wouldn’t be able to take their eyes off.
“The bond that Poppy and Rupert have developed over the years really is quite magic and he always neighs as she walks towards him, it is very special to see.
“He was quite difficult to break and in fact it took us nine weeks to get on him but once we had his trust we were away. “At their first show together they took the Overall Supreme Pony Championship at Area 4B as a novice and their winning ways have continued ever since.
“When he was a youngster he was quite a prima donna and hated rain when we were at an outdoor show. “At Three Counties we were last as he cow-kicked in hand, which looking back was hilarious but at the time I really didn’t think so. Thankfully these are now just memories of how tricky he could be.
“I rode him at the show because he was excitable at times but after I became cross with him it was a turning point and I knew he was growing up. “At the Royal International that year as a four-year-old he went Supreme Pony Champion, a day I will never forget especially as Poppy was only nine-years-old herself.
“Rupert and Poppy have been really successful in the North of England Summer Championships £1,000 classes having won three times in a row which is amazing and I can certainly say he has a bank balance bigger than mine.
“In 2013 when he won there was the biggest thunderstorm but the rain doesn’t bother him at all now, in fact he couldn’t like it more and just wants to win for Poppy.
“At Royal Windsor Horse Show there was a fantastic photograph of them taken where Rupert had turned his head round to look back at Poppy and it just said it all really and summed up their great relationship – it is as if they can talk to each other.
“He just loves what he does and transformed from being such a horror into being just the best.”
By Rotherwood Peter Pan, Rupert was bred by Liz Mansfield Parnell who sold him as a youngster but she has followed his career closely and has been a huge supporter of their amazing achievements.
Rupert and Poppy compete in a Black Country Saddles Classic show saddle to enhance their overall appearance when in the ring with the close contact and neat appearance proving a huge winner.
His success has even led to him developing a fan base across the water in Australia where his full brother, Rotherwood Spring Parade has been very successful.
Adds Katy: “He has a massive fan base and has made such an impact on the show scene. Rupert is now a complete schoolmaster and just a star.”