Dyffryngwy Sir Picasso was just six months old when he caught Emma Boardman’s eye at the Brightwells Cob Sales at Powys in Wales.

Emma, who has her own private yard based at Brampton, had gone to the prestigious event looking for a nice three year old, but nothing had taken her fancy.

She hadn’t really considered buying a foal – but then he walked into the ring and changed her mind. It may not have been love at first sight, but for Emma there was definitely something special about the youngster.

“He looked a really nice stamp,” she says. “It’s always a gamble buying a foal to do the ridden job because you have to wait so long for them, but he seemed to have that bit of magic about him.”

Now nine years old, Welsh section D gelding Dyffryngwy Sir Picasso has fulfilled that initial spark of promise many times over. Emma has done all the work of breaking him in and schooling him on and took him to only a handful of shows each year so that he was never in danger of being over-shown.

As a four year old, he had just one major outing to the Countryside Live Show at Harrogate where he won his class and qualified for Olympia. In doing so he set the bar high for himself and it has never really lowered since.

“He has won every county show there is - the Royal Lancs, Royal Welsh, Royal Highland, Royal Three counties, Westmorland county, Ayr county and The Great Yorkshire to name just a few. He has also qualified for the RIHS, HOYS and Olympia every year.

“He won at the RIHS in 2017, won at HOYS in 2018 and was third and Best of Breed at Olympia. This year he won at HOYS again which was amazing and was Reserve Overall Mountain and Moorland Champion.’

And just to add the perfect icing on top of this very substantial cake of awards, the pair scooped the overall BSPS Heritage M&M Championship at Olympia this year, against top-class competition.

Emma, who first rode at Olympia when she was just ten years old, says Picasso is accustomed to turning his hoof to many different things including hacking, farm rides, jumping and dressage. He took all the excitement of Olympia in his stride.

‘He handled the atmosphere very well. It is electric in the arena but he just focused on his job and did what was asked of him. He trusts me and gives his all. He is one in a million and it is quite unbelievable what he has achieved!’

Emma says she has some very nice youngsters coming through at the moment so fingers crossed for more fantastic results next year for this highly successful yard.

n PLEASE send your equestrian news and results to: gilly.fraser@gmail.com