Official orders 6 stone teenager off her pony at Horse Of The Year




(Picture Credit Jenny Goodall)

Georgia Aungier who is 19 years old was compewting at Horse Of The Year show in Birmingham when one of the judges at the highly regarded show told her she was "too heavy" for her pony. 

Georgia who weighs only six stone was exercising her pony, "Uphill Toy Soldier" at the show when a steward approached her and ordered her to get off it.

The incident happened in front of a packed Birmingham NEC arena and left the former champion upset and in tears.

'I was trotting around when I steward came over and said 'you're far too big for that pony,' she said.

'I was really shocked. He said I could do one more circuit but Colin was a bit lively so I had to ride a circle before heading for the exit.

'Then he shouted over the tannoy 'I have already told you to get off, you are too heavy.' It was in front of everyone in the arena, I was really upset and annoyed.'

Georgia has competed in shows since the age of four and is a full time employee at her parents stable in Godstone, Surrey.

Having won various titles at HOYS and the Royal International, she exercised the same pony without issue in 2015 and 2016.

Colin is 13 hands high, around 4ft 4ins, (132cms) and is capable of carrying around 10 stone.

Her mother, Alex, 41, said her daughter felt 'body shamed' and it had really knocked her confidence.

'She came over and was in floods of tears and said she wanted to go home,' she said.

'There were adults on ponies where you couldn't see the saddle so for them to single out Georgia in front of everybody isn't acceptable.

'At the competition, they have kids who weigh more than Georgia competing on Shetland ponies so there's just no consistency.

'We're not the first people this has happened to and won't be the last. But if they are going to introduce rules like this, then they have to be measurable. They need to stand outside with a set of scales.

'If you ask any vet, then they'll say the general rule is that a pony can carry up to 20 per cent of its own body weight. She certainly isn't that'.

Georgia's mother has made an official complaint to organisers but is yet to hear back.

A spokesman for HOYS said 'equine welfare of of paramount importance' at last weekend's events.

'Both of these professionals (vet and chief steward) were in agreement regarding the decision made of the lack of suitability of the rider with this particular pony,' she said.

'This topic has been under regular scrutiny in the showing industry over the last few years due to equine welfare concerns and therefore we have worked with showing societies to make appropriate steps, along with other major county shows, to put this policy in place.

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