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Fradley student achieves big success with little horse

Black Jack with owner Claudia Foulkes

Black Jack with owner Claudia Foulkes

Fradley-based art student Claudia Foulkes is thinking big after scooping one of the equestrian world’s top awards for small horses!

At just 33-inches high, mini marvel Zealshouse Black Jack was made Champion Miniature Horse of the Year at the recent Horse of the Year Show held at Birmingham’s National Exhibition Centre.

Now 20-year-old Claudia has set her sights even higher with Black Jack already lined up to compete at next year’s Royal International Horse Show at Hickstead.  And she is also planning to introduce her new foal, which she bred herself, Yankee Doodle Dandy into the show ring in 2011.

Claudia, who is studying illustration and animation as part of an arts degree at Coventry University, has been showing miniature horses since she was just eight years old.

She explained:

“Some people laugh and think it is a strange hobby but they soon change their minds when they meet the horses – they are beautiful and really great to work with.

“I have had Jack for six years and have always thought he was a bit special. It has taken me and my mum Maxine ten years of hard work and determination to win the Horse of the Year Show and now we have our sights set on many other top awards.”

When she isn’t working towards her degree or with her miniature horses Claudia can be found pulling pints at the Fox and Hounds in Shenstone, where she is planning to bring Black Jack to meet the regulars as thanks for their great support.

Claudia said:

“Everyone wants to meet him, they all gave me a big cheer when I came in with the winning rosette so I’m going to take him along to meet everyone.”

Landlord Ken Gardner added:

“Some of the regulars joked that she should be entering it in the Derby or the National now it’s a champion!  Everyone was delighted when she brought in her Champion’s rosette – she’s a real favourite here at The Fox.”

For further information about Claudia’s horses visit

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