Defender Burghley Horse Trials

5 - 8 September 2024


The British Show Pony Society

Each year The British Show Pony Society holds the Gold Cup Sports Pony Competition which is generously sponsored by The White Company. The competition takes place in Ring 2 on the Sunday of Defender Burghley. This year we take a look at what the Gold Cup Sports Pony Competition entails and some of the riders who have been successful here in previous years.

The British Show Pony Society, also known as the BSPS was founded in 1949 and is the leading Showing Society with over 4,000 junior and adult members.

At the Gold Cup Sports Pony Competition, competitors ride a Dressage Test, prior to moving onto the Performance Working Sports Pony which is judged over cross-country style fences. Afterwards, the ponies are judged on their gallop. Each pony height section culminates in a show jumping finale which includes a joker fence for extra bonus points.

The Society has an Area structure that supports the education of riders, preparing them for the wider equestrian disciplines in later life and this has certainly been proven by the Gold Cup Sports Pony Competition.


The Hancock Family are one of the most consistent in the competition, travelling from County Carlow in Ireland to compete. Lucy has being Champion and Reserve Champion on two different ponies, and sister Tiggy has won two years running with her prolific winning pony, Corries Jack in a Box; the only combination to do the double.

Saffie Osborne BSPS

Saffie Osborne first competed at the BSPS Winter Championships when she was just 10 years old. As a very determined little girl, when her pony had misbehaved, she came into the office with her Father, the Racehorse Trainer Jamie Osborne, to look at results and was heard to say to her Dad “you are going to have to buy me a better pony if I am going to win”. That pony was Plasdavrene Mattys Mate.

In 2016 Saffie won the title of Gold Cup Champion with Plasdavrene Mattys Mate. Saffie is a real success story having progressed to compete in three European Junior Eventing Championships winning two gold medals and three silver. She has now gained her jockeys licence, in July she rode her first winner at Windsor Racecourse and in August successfully completed her first Advanced Eventing Competition, and who knows maybe a future Burghley winner!