Horseware Bronze League Championship and Silver League Championship
Staffordshire rider Emma Sargeant turned back the clock as she claimed a superb victory on day one of Horse of the Year Show at Birmingham’s Genting Arena. The Staffordshire rider was crowned British Showjumping Silver League champion on Fool’s Business, winning two years after her sister Katie triumphed with the same horse. A jump-off time of 32.51 seconds meant Emma did enough to beat defending champion Rachel Walker, riding Bo Gi, into second spot, with Vicky Burns and Denzel II third.
“It’s fabulous,” Emma said. “It has been a few years since I jumped here. The last time was when I was on ponies in 2000, so that was quite a while ago! I get far more nervous watching Katie on him, but he has been a fabulous horse for us.
“This class takes a lot of effort to qualify for, so it is very nice when it all pays off – and I am even now with my sister!”
The Horseware Bronze League Championship went to Bedfordshire’s Abbi Jackson in emphatic fashion. Drawn first to go from 13 starters, she delivered a stylish first round performance on Christopher Robbin IV, then clocked 31.62 seconds in their jump-off to win by almost four seconds. Angela Mills and Quids In were best of the rest, taking the runners-up spot, with Southerly Roberts and Tinx finishing third.
“I didn’t even think I would get through to the jump-off, let alone win the whole competition. I can’t speak, really. I am on cloud nine. The horse is a bit of a nutcase. He runs off my adrenalin, and he doesn’t really jump over a metre, so to come here and jump in such a big class is fantastic. It is an amazing feeling. I am ecstatic.”
Ladies Side Saddle Horse of the Year Championship
Prolific Horse of the Year Show winner Jayne Ross, from Berkshire, began the 2017 event in trademark fashion at the Genting Arena in Birmingham. Jayne delighted the Wednesday morning audience as she guided 10-year-old bay mare Time 2 Reflect to an impressive win in the Ladies Side Saddle Horse of the Year Championship.
Judges award marks for conformation and riding, and it was number 520 that received the call, meaning that Jayne opened her HOYS campaign in great style.
“It is a wonderful way to start the week,” she said. “The pressure is off now and you can actually enjoy what has been a wonderful win. The horse has had the most fantastic year, and she has just finished it off perfectly. The Horse of the Year Show never loses its magic. You put so much effort into it – nearly threequarters of the year is taken up with actually trying to get here – so once you get here, you have got to produce the goods.”
Beware Chalk Pit in top form to take the SEIB Racehorse to Riding Horse of the Year Championship
There were tears of joy as Ann Leftley’s 13-year-old ex racehorse Beware Chalk Pit took the honours in the SEIB Racehorse to Riding Horse of the Year Championship on day one of Horse of the Year Show (HOYS). ‘Pete’, as he is known at home, won more than £9,500 over his seven year racing career, trained by Jonathan Geake. He ran his last race just two years ago.
The impressive 16.2hh bay gelding is produced by Justine Armstrong-Small and has been ridden by Rebecca Court for the last three seasons.
The combination, who travelled from Essex, are no strangers to HOYS, having also qualified and been placed in both 2015 and 2016.
“I always felt he was good enough to win,” said a delighted Rebecca, “It’s a dream come true!”
Brineton Colne Mountain & Moorland Mini Pony of the Year Championship
Thistledown Van-Der-Vaart does it again! A round of applause roared around the TopSpec Arena on Wednesday lunchtime at Horse of the Year Show (HOYS) in appreciation of one fantastic pony who was crowned Brineton Colne Mountain & Moorland Mini Pony of the Year for the third year running.
Lucy Richardson’s Thistledown Van-Der-Vaart put in another flawless performance to take the spoils with new jockey for this season, Olivia Brightmore.
A delighted Sharn Linney, who produces the pony, said: “He’s such a star. He went amazingly and the judge told me that he sent shivers up his spine!”
Equissage Pulse Ridden Partbred Pony of the Year Championship
The Price family’s superstar pony – and reigning Supreme Pony of the Year – Litton Enterprise has made a stylish comeback to the TopSpec Arena on the first day of Horse of the Year Show (HOYS) with a win in the Equissage Pulse Ridden Partbred Pony of the Year Championship.
Ridden by Phoebe Price, and owned by Joanne and Darren Price, the 11-year-old British Riding Pony was making his debut appearance in this Partbred class, with previous wins and placings in the Kathleen Wood Children’s Riding Pony of the Year.
“It’s amazing, I’m in shock! We just came to enjoy it this year so anything would have been a bonus – let alone this win!”
Litton Enterprise is produced by Julie Templeton who was: “Really pleased with their individual show.”
Harness Horse and Pony of the Year Championship
Paul Atkinson and Black Boy went two better than last year to win the Horse of the Year Show’s Harness Horse and Pony of the Year Championship. Third-placed finishers 12 months ago, Paul and the stunning 11-year-old black gelding won following a nerve-tingling finale in the Genting Arena as the leading three partnerships paraded for the judges.
And in the end it was the Dutch warmblood that prevailed after spectators enjoyed a Wednesday afternoon treat.
“I am thrilled, and it seemed a very popular win, which I am delighted about,” Paul said.
Simon Constable Equine Vets and Mr & Mrs Roberts Ridden Partbred Arab of the Year
Fourth time lucky for Mirv and the Purebred Arab of the Year title. Clare Fitch punched the air in delight as her ride, Mirv, was called forward to take the Simon Constable Equine Vets and Mr & Mrs Roberts Ridden Purebred Arab of the Year Championship.
After being placed for three consecutive years here at Horse of the Year Show (HOYS), the nine-year-old gelding finally clinched the prestigious title on day one of the show.
“We had started to think it might elude him!” laughed Clare. “I really feel he’s deserved it.”
Connolly’s RED MILLS Senior Newcomers Championship
Nicole Pavitt continued her recent domination of the Connolly’s Red Mills Senior Newcomers Championship with a stylish performance at the Horse of the Year Show. Just two combinations – Sussex-based Nicole on her mother Sandra’s HC Cornet and Adam Botham, riding Jerome Du Luot – went clear in round one from 22 starters.
Nicole then set a time of 48.51 seconds, but although Adam jumped more than a second quicker, he agonisingly had the final fence down. Mark Edwards and Montreuxs Tale, one of seven four-faulters, finished third.
Nicole’s latest triumph followed victories in 2012 and 2014, and she has predicted a bright future for the seven-year-old bay gelding.
“I have been very lucky in this class,” she said. “This one (victory) was probably the most stressful; with just the two of us through to the jump off, I was determined to jump clear and put the pressure on Adam, and luckily it worked in my favour. It feels different in a two horse jump-off, but I have previously been in a similar position and jumped first then went on to win, so it must be my lucky spot!
Red Why Salute answers all the questions in the Cuddy Working Hunter of the Year
When Daniel Brian Carroll bought a five-year-old gelding with “no job to do” straight from the field, he had an inkling success was in the pipeline. Fast forward three years and Red Why Salute has proven his class and clinched the prestigious Cuddy Working Hunter of the Year Champion title on the opening day of Horse of the Year Show (HOYS).
“When I first saw him I thought ‘That’s going to win HOYS’,” said Daniel, who rode the 18hh British Warmblood to victory, having qualified at Royal Cheshire County Show earlier in the year. “He’s very brave and has a big heart; I tell him to do it and he does it.”
The eight-year-old produced a fantastic clear round over David Cole’s testing course, which featured a box hedge, brush rails, water tray and famous curved wall among 12 fences. The impressive course set out under the lights of the Andrews Bowen International Arena asked lots of questions of the 37 starters who came forward.
“The course was tricky, but once he got going he jumped brilliantly,” said Daniel.
Talent Seekers inc 7 Year Old Championship
Chloe Winchester described her opening day win at Horse of the Year Show as “what dreams are made of.” Chloe, from Suffolk, triumphed in the Talent Seekers, incorporating the seven-year-old, Championship, with Louise Saywell riding Mac Uwe finishing in second place on the leading seven-year-old.
Chloe’s jump-off time of 37.11 seconds, on the 10-year-old bay mare Sportsfield Our Clare, proved more than a second quicker than Louise, while third place went to Bumble Thomas on Aramis.
“I am absolutely over the moon,” Chloe said. “There was a bit of pressure in terms of going first, so I did as much as I could, and it worked out today. She has been very competitive throughout the summer, and I know if I push her, she will do whatever she can to jump clear. It is just amazing to win here – it’s what dreams are made of. It is such an amazing experience.
“I evented her as a five and six-year-old, then she had a foal last year and she came back to jumping this year and this where she has ended up. It really is a dream come true. Every question we have asked of her, she has just given that bit more and that bit more.”
It was also a memorable evening for Louise, and reflecting on Mac Uwe’s richly promising display, she said:
“He was very good. He jumped a super round. He went in there like a pro and jumped fantastic. He is relatively new to me, and HOYS is completely different to any other indoor, so I am delighted. Before he came here, we had really high hopes for him, and he has just proved it again to why we think that.”