Memories of the British Nationals: Jammilah

Continuing with memories from the British National Championships in this Centenary year for the Arab Horse Society, we feature our next British National Champion. This time, we celebrate an ethereal ridden mare.


Jamillah – by Natalie Sweet
Jamillah, aka “Minnie”, was born in 1993 and was bred by Wendy Carr of Silverdale Arabians. She was by Djammal and out of Samaseel (Samson x Nanak) and she first came to my attention when she was the North West Junior Female Champion and Reserve Supreme to WSA Charismma as a yearling. My twin sister Joanna and I were two of the number girls at the show.

Over the years, we have spent lots of time helping out at Silverdale Arabians – during the summer, we like nothing better than to spend our holidays with horses, mucking out, grooming and bathing horses. We decided to each “adopt” a Silverdale horse and while Joanna chose G Delilah (until she went to pastures new) and mum different ones as they kept being sold, I chose Minnie. I was only 11 years old at the time and I fell in love with her initially because of her striking appearance: a dark mane that contrasted beautifully with her grey coat and her pink muzzle. She always pricked her ears whenever she got attention and was very polite at feeding times.

One Easter for a photo session, we all got up at the crack of dawn to take the horses to the beach. On arrival, we sadly realised that we had miscalculated the tide and the sea was no-here to be seen so we spent time in the sand dunes at Camber Sands with Minnie posing superbly with lots of attitude! Minnie has always responded brilliantly to Rebecca’s training and was very successfully shown in-hand including winning at Malvern in 1995 and 1996, when she was Reserve British National Champion.

Following on from Minnie’s halter career, Stephen McCormick backed her initially at Silverdale and towards the end of February that year she went off to Jo Woodward to continue her education. Jo found her to be a lovely, receptive pupil and within a few weeks, she went off to her first show at the South East Region and came back with a red rosette. Minnie’s next show was at the North West Group and there we saw her win another novice class. Her ridden career went from strength to strength and included twice British National Champion Ridden Mare in 2000 and 2003, UKIAHS winner 2001 and 2003 Horse of the Year Show winner. The 2003 Ridden Championship at Malvern took place with torrential rain falling and all the competitors just got on with it, squelching through the mud. Minnie’s light grey coat was soaked through by the end of the championship and she had turned pink!

I have many treasured photos of Minnie over the years on my bedroom wall: being shown in-hand, posing in an authentic bridle, being ridden by Jo and also one with myself after a personal pampering session!

Minnie, now owned by Jo and Darren, retired to stud and has so far produced two fillies, Jumainah (by British National Champion Aazari) in 2005 and Jamissiah (by Narismma) in 2007. This year she is being covered by Jo and Darren’s Sanadik El Shaklan son Jalisco, but being not too easy to get in foal, fingers need crossing! She is entered at Malvern this year in the halter classes and it will be great to see her and Rebecca together again. How wonderful it would be if she could win at the British Nationals as a filly, a ridden and a halter mare. We’ll be cheering you on Minnie!

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This post comes from a series we first ran in The Arabian Magazine in 2005. Called Malvern Calling, the series celebrated British National Champions from Malvern, Ascot and even Kempton Park, and different readers shared their favourite memory from the British Nationals. There is always something special about watching the moment a horse is crowned British National Champion, so please enjoy the memories that will be shared here over the coming month.

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