Kathryn Ellison takes the Speedi-Beet Grade C Championship
Kathryn Ellison hailed the biggest win of her career after posting a stylish victory in the prestigious Speedi-Beet Grade C Championship at Horse of the Year Show. The West Dorset showjumper emerged victorious with her home-bred nine-year-old bay mare, Cherokee Bay, following a five horse jump-off, clocking a time of 42.93 seconds.
She won by almost a two-second margin from Joe Clayton and Eye Catcher, while Will Fletcher rode Persimmon – fourth-placed finisher at the 2015 European Eventing Championships with Olympian Kitty King – into third spot.
“It means everything,” she said. “It is the biggest win of my career. To do it on a big stage like this one is fantastic. I did not expect it for a moment. I had nothing to lose after making the jump-off, and it was about making the most of it.
“She is a horse that we produced from the start – she is home-bred – and I think she has got all the ability in the world. I get more nervous in the qualifiers for Horse of the Year Show. Once you have got here, that is what you are aiming for, so you might as well enjoy it. I knew we were capable. I know the atmosphere is different, but you just have to ignore that. That’s my job.”
Intermediate Show Riding Type of the Year Championship
It was the top two 153cm horses who dominated the Intermediate Show Riding Type of the Year Championship on day four of Horse of the Year Show (HOYS).
The Champion title went to Emily Whitfield’s Parkgate Royal Visit William by Aimbry Chester out of Bowlandforest Burdock. He was ridden by Emma Dewhurst, who has known the horse since he was a three-year-old. Sutton Grange Lady Eleanor, a six-year-old bay mare owned by Cindy Dilasser and ridden by Samantha Elliott took Reserve.
Emma said the gelding, who was making his debut at HOYS, was “amazing” in the arena and “gave everything he had.” She added: “The more people clap, the more he loves it.”
A French win in The Thistledown Stakes
Frenchman Titouan Schumacher continued his sparkling Horse of the Year Show debut by winning the Thistledown Stakes at Birmingham’s Genting Arena. The Normandy-based rider finished second in Friday’s Grandstand Welcome Stakes behind Irishman Anthony Condon, but he went one better as he returned to action on 15-year-old mare Oceane de Nantuel.
Seven combinations made it through to the jump-off, including five British riders – Helen Tredwell, William Funnell, Mennell Watson, John Whitaker and Robert Whitaker – but Titouan proved almost half a second quicker than anyone else.
Golden Tasset takes top spot in The Underwood Family Intermediate Show Hunter of the Year
Out of 14 hopefuls in The Underwood Family Intermediate Show Hunter of the Year Championship it was 11-year-old Chestnut gelding Golden Tasset who was victorious, ridden by Olivia Bowen.
With a number of titles under their belt since their time together, the pair competed at two HOYS qualifiers this year before their stellar performance in the TopSpec Arena today. Their preparation for the show has been riding on the beach everyday from their home in Pembrokeshire, and Olivia says it is his gallop that is Golden Tasset’s biggest strength.
“I felt like he knew he was meant to be here today,” said Olivia. “He is the nicest horse ever.”
Jovian delights the crowds in The Leeman Family Maxi Cob of the Year Championship
Baileys Horse Feeds’ Irish Draught, Jovian, looked every bit the Champion as he took his lap of honour in The Leeman Family Maxi Cob of the Year with producer and trainer Lynn Russell in the saddle.
At just six years old, this was Jovian’s second appearance at Horse of the Year Show (HOYS), having qualified last year for the Ladies Side Saddle Horse of the Year Championship. He has now taken the ultimate accolade as a Maxi Cob.
HOYS has been one of his first big shows this season and Lynn described the win as “fantastic” and “a big surprise”, having hoped he would be placed high up, but not expecting a win.
“He felt lovely in there,” she said. “He was very light and was taking me forward.”
Tahnia Jordan-Jones wins the Squibb Group Pony Foxhunter Championship
Wiltshire teenager Tahnia Jordan-Jones completed a stunning Horse of the Year Show double when she won the Squibb Group Pony Foxhunter Championship. Barely 48 hours after landing the Blue Chip Pony Newcomers class on Jumper, Swindon-based Tahnia added Foxhunter success with the same pony in spectacular fashion. It was the first time such a double has been achieved since Hanna Penny and Blue Amber did it 15 years ago.
Woodview Shangri-La is victorious in The Price Family Mini Show Pony of the Year Championship
Katrina Kozersky’s British Riding Pony Woodview Shangri-La and daughter Alina Kozersky were picture perfect from start to finish in The Price Family Mini Show Pony of the Year Championship. After taking the First Ridden title, they went one better to secure the overall Championship.
John Harvey’s Small-Land Toy Story retained the Reserve title from last year, ridden by four-year-old Beatrice Taverner-Jordan. The five-year-old partbred Welsh is by Millwood Equador out of Small Land Time Piece.
The Champion title was a particularly poignant win for producer Katy Carter, who originally bought Woodview Shangri-La as a three-year-old and broke her in. The mare has been with other children before coming to Katrina two seasons ago for 10-year-old Alina to ride. She came back to Katy’s yard in June where Katy continues to produce her.
Katy said: “We love having her back on the yard. She’s an absolute sweetheart… she was faultless in there [the arena].”
Cadlanvalley Super Ted returns to HOYS to reclaim his title in The Spencer Family Lead Rein Pony of Hunter Type of the Year Championship
Lisa Kerr’s show hunter pony Cadlanvalley Super Ted rewrote history when he reclaimed The Spencer Family Lead Rein Pony of Hunter Type of the Year Championship from two years ago. The six-year-old pony has been with the Kerr family for three seasons and is produced by Sara Parrott and Craig Eleanor. After being only lightly shown this year, he was foot perfect in the ring for Lisa’s daughter Ness, following his last HOYS victory with sister Cate back in 2015.
Sara, who described Ted as a “superstar” and “a cheeky little monkey” said: “He’s very rideable; a proper little hunter pony who loves the obstacles and is super safe.” She continued: “He’s Mr Reliable – he just goes in and does his job.”
A joint win in the HOYS Accumulator
Dutch star Harrie Smolders underlined his quality as the HOYS Accumulator class thrilled a full house at Horse of the Year Show on Saturday. Harrie, the world-ranked number six rider who is fresh from being part of the Netherlands team that won last weekend’s FEI Nations Cup final in Barcelona, shared first place with Britain’s Mennell Watson.
Osborne Refrigerators Double Harness Scurry of the Year Championship
Dorset’s Nigel Olliffe was crowned the Osborne Refrigerators Double Harness Scurry of the Year Champion as the four-day competition drew to a close at Horse of the Year Show.
Nigel, who is based in Christchurch, got the recipe just right with Fruit and Nut as they clocked a superb time of 41.62 on the course, edging out defending champions Jemma Millman with Piglet and Eeyore. Welshman Gareth Roberts was third.
Reflecting on his win, a delighted Nigel said:
“It feels fantastic. I have been trying a long time. The ponies have been getting better and better every year.
“The course is never easy. I did a good time on Friday, the ponies are great and I felt that I could do it. I was really confident going in. The crowd here is fantastic, which makes it even more special.”
Our Cashel Blue is at home with the HOYS crowds in The Colosso Family Cob of the Year Championship
Reigning Supreme Horse of the Year and Cob of the Year Champion, Our Cashel Blue, delighted the crowds on the penultimate evening of Horse of the Year Show (HOYS) when he successfully defended The Colosso Family Cob of the Year Champion title, navigated once again by Allister Hood.
The lightweight cob, who seems to turn heads wherever he goes, has enjoyed another phenomenal season standing Champion at the Royal International, BSHA National Championships and now at HOYS.
“That’s the best he’s ever gone,” said Allister after the Championship. “I felt like we were at one all morning and tonight; he was with me and I was with him.”
Home produced pony is Kathleen Wood Children’s Riding Pony of the Year
Leah Dalley’s Archwood Romeo Gigle pulled it out of the bag for the second consecutive year this morning at Horse of the Year Show (HOYS) to retain the Kathleen Wood 138cm Children’s Riding Pony of the Year with Leah’s daughter Madison. This evening he put the cherry on top of the cake and claimed the overall Kathleen Wood Children’s Riding Pony of the Year Championship.
The family have owned the pony since September 2016 and qualified for HOYS at Stithians Show. He also stood Pretty Polly Champion at the Royal International earlier this year. Known as ‘Jack’ at home, the 12-year-old British Riding Pony is by Rotherwood Gigolo out of Chasecroft Disco Diva.
A win for Padraic Judge in The Naylors Equestrian Puissance
Irish eyes were smiling at Horse of the Year Show on Saturday night as Padraic Judge and Citi Business powered to victory in the Naylors Equestrian Puissance to take the £4,950 prize money. A capacity 10,000 crowd at the Genting Arena roared its approval as Padraic, who is from County Mayo, guided the 15-year-old gelding to a winning jump of 2.14 metres high (7ft).
They were the only combination to go clear in round four, as defending champions Holly Smith and Quality Old Joker had to be content for tied second place with Louise Saywell and Dassler. A total of 14 combinations started the competition, but it was Padraic who came up trumps on his first appearance at Horse of the Year Show.
“He jumped very well. I am very pleased with him,” Padraic said. “I was always hopeful we could go well – I have great faith in the horse. I knew he could jump over seven feet, no problem. He had done two puissance classes before this one, and he was joint first in both of them.
“The atmosphere tonight in the arena was unbelievable. I loved the experience. He got a bit sharp in the first round but it suited me because it woke me up and I had to forget about everything else. It is a lonely spot out there in the puissance, but it is my job, my life and I love it.
“For a puissance horse you need so much scope, they need to be brave and he needs to trust the rider, and if the confidence is there between both, then it is a great start.”