MORE than 80 ponies have taken part in a County Durham competition run by a society supported by Prince Charles.

The Prince of Wales has agreed to be a patron for the Dales Pony Society, which will celebrate its 100th anniversary in 2016.

The society held its annual spring stallion and breed show at Streatlam Farm near Barnard Castle on Saturday with Teesdale couple David and Alison Eccles riding away with the big awards.

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The pair from Middleton-in-Teesdale bred and exhibited Westwick Polly, a six-year-old geld mare, who was named overall show champion.

Their other pony, yearling colt Westwick Bobby The Second, won the youngstock championship and was named best male pony.

The show attracted more than 80 exhibitors from as far afield as Aberdeenshire and Northampton.

Claire Crow from Wakefield walked away with the reserve champion title awarded to her four-year-old geld mare Castle Hill Rose The Third, while the best ridden pony award went to eight-year-old Sparket Classy Girl bred and exhibited by Ellen Jones from Penrith.

Seven-year-old Tudor Raven won the best gelding title for his owners Dale and Sara Harrison form Spennymoor, County Durham.

About 180 spectators turned out for the show and organiser Freda Longstaff said she was pleased with how it went.

She said: “We had good weather which helped a lot and it all went very well.

“Exhibitor numbers were down a bit from last year but that will be because the cost of travelling to shows has risen so much.”

Full results will be in Friday’s (May 9) Darlington and Stockton Times.

The society’s next show will be on Saturday, August 2.