Todd’s turn: Cross-country tips for pint-sized #BurghleyPony

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Pamela the wannabe eventing pony is now so famous she has her very own hashtag – #BurghleyPony – and she’s having lessons with none other than Sir Mark Todd.

Of course it is only the best for Pamela, who earlier had dressage lessons with Carl Hester, on the pint-sized palomino’s journey to taking on the Burghley Horse Trials late this month.

Todd is eminently qualified to instruct Pam, who is 8.3hh, on her debut at the Land Rover Burghley Horse Trials, having won the event five times himself.

He noted that her palomino colouring meant she was “not what you’d first expect in an event horse”.

“You don’t see many palomino eventers and I certainly don’t remember seeing any go round Burghley recently.

Mark Todd puts Pamela through her paces during a cross-country training session in preparation for the Burghley Horse Trials late this month.
Mark Todd puts Pamela through her paces during a cross-country training session in preparation for the Burghley Horse Trials late this month.

“She’s certainly got a very good jump. As long as he (the rider) gets the striding right – she hasn’t got a very big stride, I think she’ll look after him after that,” said Todd, who was voted Rider of the 20th century by the FEI and has won two individual Olympic gold medals.

During Pamela’s lesson, Todd worked on impulsion and forward movement in the pint-sized golden eventer.

Pamela’s rider will be announced on August 26, with the Land Rover Burghley Horse Trials taking place from August 31 to September 3.

She will be the smallest pony to ever take part in the four-star competition, and the first rescue pony to take her place in the starting lineup.

Pamela was among a group of six shetland ponies who were taken into care by World Horse Welfare in April 2014. All were suffering from laminitis.

Pamela heads to Carl Hester's arena for her first dressage lesson.
Pamela’s first lesson was with dressage guru Carl Hester.

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