NICKY RONCORONI has enormous faith in her up-and-coming grey Stonedge and if anything that has been enhanced after the pair were part of the winning GB team at the latest round in the FEI Nations Cup at Ballindenisk in Ireland.

With her No.1 horse Trig Point currently hors de combat, Stonedge – or Max as he is known in her stable – is being asked to step up in class. And the work behind the scenes is clearly paying off.

After Stonedge had put in a super clear round cross country for just three time faults, Nicky said: “He’s possibly the best horse I have ever ridden across country. He has all the talents for the future.

“What’s more, as one of the last to go in all the disciplines he was always performing on the most tacky ground.” Even GB team manager Philip Surl was prompted to say: “Nicky’s young horse, by far the least inexperienced of the four, was great across country.”

Nicky and her team-mates – Lucy Wiegersma, Ros Canter and Izzy Taylor – scored a narrow victory over France in Ballindenisk and have moved up to a close second behind the same nation in the series standings after two legs.

Nicky is proving a lucky talisman for the GB Nations Cup team. Twice she has been selected in advance for the squad and on both occasions she has come back on the winning team.