Lilly Ahern-Lee – Going Places
There are times raw talent is there for all to see. Is it due to the family genes? Is it due to starting to ride when so very young? Who knows, both are certainly true for Lilly Ahern-Lee, the Black Country Saddles sponsored tot with a big personality.
At just three-years-old Lilly Ahern-Lee already has a fan base!
With her Lead Rein Show Hunter Pony – Caridines Little Lord – she has taken the spring show season by storm and captured the hearts of many spectators around the ringside.
Certainly full of life and with her own character, it was her personality that also secured her sponsorship from Black Country Saddles. Lilly makes regular visits to their stand at the shows where she chats away with owner Wendy Hartley who couldn’t resist supporting this tiny talent.
Based in Keighley, West Yorkshire, Lilly is a member of Team Ahern, well known for their successful Aireview Equestrian Centre and she has many people to turn to for advice not least her mum Alex and auntie Kirsty who leads her in the ring.
Says Kirsty: “We decided from the outset it might be better if I was on the end of the lead rein as maybe she would focus more with her auntie doing the running.”
With Caridines Little Lord and her other pony the Lead Rein Show Pony – Barkway Sweet William – turned out to perfection in their Poppy Black Country Saddles, it was then down to Alex to source riding attire that would fit Lilly for the season.
“We had to have everything made and altered but it is so important the overall picture is right,” laughs Alex.
Owned by Vicky Fahay, Caridines Little Lord has proven a star pony for Lilly who took Reserve Restricted Champion with him at the BSPS Winter Championships.
As Lilly is so small Black Country Saddles developed a bespoke strap to go from one D-ring to the other on the saddle for her to hold on to when in the ring, an aid that is permitted in lead rein classes.
When not in the arena, Lilly has made a bucketful of friends on the circuit, including the many children supported in their showing by Team Ahern.
Having grown up together, her show time ‘boyfriend’ is young Thomas Quinney, just a year older than Lilly and also making a name for himself in the showing world, while her current hero is Poppy Carter, the young talent Black Country Saddles named one of their show saddles after.
Adds Alex: “Lilly and Thomas have played together since they were so young and are great mates at shows.
“Poppy is simply the star she looks up to and when she is watching Lilly from the ringside she is so proud that someone so successful is taking time out to follow her progress.”
With so much support from mum Alex, dad Andrew, grandparents Paddy and Jayne, auntie Kirsty and everyone else at the yard there’s no doubt any major successes are going to be well celebrated for young Lilly.
And one supporter also well known for celebrating the highs of showing – Wendy Hartley – is sure to be having a glass of champagne or two along the way as well.