A team effort has taken Dragonwyck Merriment and her Amberley rider Haylee Frame to national honours.

Haylee, aged 9, and Merri, have been awarded the Dragonwyck Trophy and the Versatility TY Gywn Solitaire Memorial Trophy for points gained in the performance competition at events and shows running from May 1 last year to April 30 this year.

Ponies have to be registered with two pony societies – The Welsh Pony and Cob Society of New Zealand and the Pony Breeders Society of New Zealand – to be eligible for the awards.

The Frame family have owned Merri for about two years and, during that time, Haylee has gone from being a rider who had to be led around, to a very confident rider, competing over jumps, in fancy dress, showing, Cowboy Challenge Days, and in their favourite event, dressage.

Her mum, Nicola, says Haylee and Merri make a great team.

“They have done so much together.

“At their last A&P show in Fairlie they won Junior Supreme, which was amazing.

“Merri has never been an easy pony for Haylee. She has bucked her off at least 40 times, but they make such a great team now that Merri even follows Haylee into the house,” Nicola says.

“Merri and Haylee work so well together that she will never leave us, as she is part of our family.”

Haylee and her mum went to Palmerston North to hear the results of the competition at the two societies’ annual meetings.

“We didn’t have to go, but wanted to hear the results and we thought if Haylee won anything it would be nice for her to be there to accept her awards.”

They arrived home with the two trophies and some “amazing” placements.

“Our goal all last season was to do enough shows to get enough points for Haylee to win her riding section, ‘First Ridden’ with the welsh pony and cob society as the trophy for that section was donated from Merri’s breeders and we thought it would be great to earn the Dragonwyck trophy on a Dragonwyck pony.”

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