Congratulations Snipper

snipper_128We’re delighted to announce that our foundation stallion, Snippers Heirogance has become one of only a handful of horses in the UK to win the prestigious AQHA Champion award!  He’s also the ONLY stallion currently at stud in the UK who has won this award!

The AQHA Champion Award is in recognition of American Quarter Horses that show true versatility.  In brief they have to earn a register of merit in halter (10 points) plus another 5 points in halter totalling 15 points.  They also have to earn two grand championships.  In addition they have to earn a performance register of merit, plus another 5 points in performance classes (15 points in total) and those points have to be in three different categories.

In 1998 Snipper was 2 points off his AQHA Champion Award, however, AQHA at that time amalgamated several categories, which in effect meant although he had more than enough points, he now only had the points in two categories.

Snipper has effectively been retired from competition for a number of years now, although he has been busy demonstrating at the CLA Game Fair and other places where we promote the Quarter Horse to a larger audience.  However in 2009 when AQHA introduced the Performance Halter Class (the horse has to have won a Performance Register of Merit in order to compete in this class) he came out to compete in Performance Halter Stallions – winning both his classes.

In 2012, AQHA introduced the Ranch Horse Pleasure class, a new category!   David and Sarah watched with interest the first Ranch Horse Pleasure classes to be held in the UK at the June Fenland Show.  David definitely had a gleam in his eye.  He recalls  “I watched those first classes and realised what fun they were and also what great classes they were for a well trained, sound and versatile horse, I also realised that I had in the barn a horse that would love the new Ranch horse pleasure class… and a horse I’d love to compete on in that class.. namely the 24 year old Snipper!”

When asked whether the fact that the class was a new category and therefore if Snipper did well in the class it would perhaps mean he’d achieve his AQHA Award David smiles and shakes his head “You can never guarantee anything, I mean we almost got the award a few years back, I just like to concentrate on what I’m doing, and then if the performance is good and you achieve other things, then that’s a bonus!”

Snipper then made his Ranch Horse debut at the August Fenland show, promptly winning the class (out of 15).  Did David then think about the AQHA Champion Award?   David smiles “No, I was just really pleased that the old boy came out and had a blast, it was a bonus that he won and earned so many points first go.  The strange thing was, that people saw me riding around on him, but didn’t realise it was Snipper.. they thought it was one of his offspring as there were quite a few competing at that show.  Once people realised that the Old Boy was out there and it was actually him, it was wonderful to see people crowding the sides of the arena watching him – and a bit daunting too!”

David explains “After competing in the class in 2012 various shows, we calculated that Snipper had earned enough points for the Award, then we were worried that because he’s 24, there may be some rule that said that points had to be earned after a certain date, and because he’s earned his AQHA Points since his three year old year, we spent quite a bit of time looking at the AQHA rule book!    In the end we did call up AQHA and just check, and they confirmed that although they hadn’t processed all the results yet, in theory he would win the award, however, we would have to wait and see!   We’ve been checking Snippers record on the AQHA website quite frequently, and this week it’s been confirmed.  He’s an AQHA Champion!”

David smiles before continuing “When you consider AQHA now declare a horse dead at 25 unless otherwise notified by the owner, it just goes to show what a legend he is.  He’s never sick or sorry, he has a great temperament whatever you do with him.   Both Sarah and I, and the girls (as they still ride him, and learned to ride on him) are indebted to Snippers Heirogance, he’s probably done more for the Quarter Horse in this country than any other horse, he’s promoted the breed over here now at County Shows and Exhibitions for nearly 20 years.  We’re really proud of him and his achievements.”

When asked “What next?”  David laughed and said “I keep saying he’s retired, in fact I’ve been saying that for about 10 years, but he’s sound, he’s still ridden, and he’s like a horse half his age, from a breeding point of view, he’s still very fertile and he loves his outings.  I don’t know.. we’ll see what happens, but he’s a member of the family and always will be very special to us all”.

Congratulations Snipper… you are officially a Sovereign Legend.

Sssh! They’re talking about us -: Linda Joynes with “Mischief”

mischiefHaving first seen David Deptford ride Snippers Heirogance at the Cambridgeshire County Show in 2008, I was so impressed with how incredibly calm and quiet the stallion was that  I decided to investigate Quarter Horses and western riding further.

I started having lessons on Sovereign Hobby Doc in 2009 and I was immediately smitten with the way of riding and amazed at the horses abilities and training.  After a while one of Hobby’s sons came up for sale so I snapped him up (thanks David and Sarah for selling him).  Having been riding for over 30 years and being a nervous rider in later years I can honestly say I have never owned a horse which is so well trained, quiet but still has a fun personality and I feel very honoured.  “Mischief”, my boy will turn his hoof to anything and I look forward to many years of riding him at Sovereign Quarter Horses.

Ssssh! They’re talking about us …Happy Lessons

teaching photoI’d just like to say thank you for the lesson I had with Sarah today. It was truly fantastic and I can honestly say I’ve never had so much fun while riding a horse! For me, western riding was nothing short of enlightening and I really cannot wait to come back.
Thanks again for the experience!

sssh! They’re talking about us… Great Lessons

teaching photoHere at Sovereign we’ve been teaching Western to people for many years.  We’re a licensed riding school, one of the first in the country in fact.  We want you to have fun whilst you are learning and learn in a friendly, relaxed and informative way.  Don’t just believe us, read what people say…

“I came along for my first lesson in Western riding on Saturday and it was a truly awesome experience. 

I used to ride a lot some years ago, but over time became disenchanted with English riding and almost gave it up entirely. My parents mentioned Sovereign Quarter Horses as they’d been impressed by one of your demos. A quick look at your wonderful website and I wanted to know more, so I booked a lesson – my first in 20 years!

The laid-back, friendly attitude I found at SQH was most refreshing – everyone was smiling and welcoming. David was a relaxed, encouraging teacher who gave calm instruction and had me feeling at ease from the start. The horse I rode was an absolute dream! Sensitive, but sensible and very forgiving of my total lack of Western riding experience. I can honestly see why SQH attracts such glowing testimonials.

Well done, Sovereign Quarter Horses – I suspected I was through with riding, but can honestly say you’ve reignited my passion and I can’t wait to return and learn more.” Heidi


“Many thanks for the amazing 2 hours spent with you both on Sunday. Your horses are so well trained and we are all impressed with their nature and ease to ride. Even though some of us did not do them justice! My brother and daughter are smitten and will be returning to continue lessons. I think my friend and I will also have another go and I promise to do better next time! Thank you so much again for a wonderful day. You and Sarah have such a comfortable and sympathetic way of teaching that made us feel very much at ease.”


SQH and Your Horse Online – Trust Your Horse – Parts 1-4

Microsoft Word - Document2Here at Sovereign, we often work with leading magazines for articles that help promote the American Quarter Horse and Western Riding.

David worked with Your Horse Online to set up four educational videos, as well as providing editorial copy for the magazine itself.  In these articles, David worked with Amanda Griffith’s Snippers Son N Heir.


Part One


Part Two


Part Three


Part Four

sssh! They’re talking about our lessons!

about usSovereign were one of the first western only licensed riding schools in the country.  David and Sarah, who are both UKCC qualified Coaches have been teaching western riding to all abilities for many years now.  We’re lucky to have some excellent lesson horses, who are all horses that David and Sarah have competed on in the past.

This is what people have been saying about our lessons recently…

JT says:

Just wanted to say I had the very best lesson ever on Thursday – am still on a high!   Please thank David for really boosting my confidence and also a hug for Elan (I’ve fallen in love with him, as I’m sure everyone does) – am looking  forward to next time and will be in touch re that soon.

BM and friends say:

A big thank you for a brilliant Western Riding lesson today. We all

loved every minute of it, your horses are fabulous and you are

lovely people, we look forward to doing it again in the near future.

If you are thinking about having a lesson, or would like to give someone a lesson as a present, why not think about our Western Riding Vouchers – they have a long validity period – around 12 months – and you can purchase them HERE

General Clinic – 26th October 2019

General Clinic 26th October 2019

Clinic Format

This clinic will be covering areas from all disciplines. We will work through the patterns for the SQH All Breeds Championship Show on Sunday 27th October.

We will be focusing on Horsemanship, Trail and Ranch riding, concentrating on pattern classes. We will also have showmanship tuition available.

Clinic Times: 09:00 – 16:00 with break for lunch (lunch is provided).

Cost: £75.00 pp

Spectators: £25.00 pp under 16’s £10.00 pp (1 free spectator is allowed per participant).

Open to all levels, any breed welcome.

Stable hire available £65.00 (covers weekend for up to 3 days, price excludes bedding).

Please note that due to high demand of our clinics we cannot issue refunds with less than one week’s notice of cancellation unless we can fill your place.

N.B All riders will be required to complete a Clinic Booking Form. Rider places will not be guaranteed until full payment has been received. Click below for the booking form

General Clinic 26th October 2019 Booking Form

General Clinic 26th October 2019
Name of rider
Name of Horse – Mare/Geld/Stal