YOU might not be able to teach an old dog new tricks but the same cannot be said for ponies.
That has been proven by young Epworth rider Ellie Jayne Hilldrith and her 23-year-old pony Raffles as they finished fifth in the Veteran Horse National Dressage Championships.
South Axholme Academy pupil Hilldrith teamed up with Raffles three years ago and has taken the pony from jumping competition into dressage.
And the pairing achieved their biggest success so far at the Hargate Arena in Derbyshire with the fifth placed finish.
Dad Dave said: “This is the biggest achievement so far for Ellie, she’s just getting better and better.
“We’re over the moon with her performances and this one in particular.
“The work that Ellie and her trainer Nicola Keating-Bell at Newlands have done over the last three years has been brilliant.
“You’re talking about a completely different discipline in regards of what you’re training the horse to do.
“To change a younger pony from jumping to dressage would have been a great achievement never mind a 20-year-old.”
Hilldrith has targeted a place at a future Olympics after being inspired by the dressage at London 2012.
She is set to receive a new pony soon but Raffles will not be put out to pasture just yet.
Dad Dave said: “He’s been a fantastic pony for Ellie and she loves him to bits.
“There’s still plenty of life in Raffles yet – we’ve proven that.”