The Virbac 3D Worming Cob of The Year classes at Horse of the Year Show are some of the most popular and well-supported classes at the show.
Intended as mannerly rides for older or more nervous riders, cobs are a popular choice for both professionals and amateurs alike and the classes here at HOYS go from strength to strength.
Under the British Show Horse Association (BSHA) rules, the show cob is not to exceed 155cm (15.1hh) in height and is divided into two weight categories. A cob in the lightweight category is expected to be capable of carrying up to 14 stone, whilst in the heavyweight category it is over 14 stone.
The 2015 Cob of the Year title was, as expected, fiercely fought for, and the standard of cobs was exemplary. Horses present in the two classes included the defending champion Fait Acobbli, who was bred at the Darley Stud and the Royal International Amateur Cob Champion Ballyell Turbo.
Displaying exceptional manners throughout to win the coveted title was the heavyweight winner Randalstown Musketeer. Ridden by Vicky Hesford, who won the hack title on Whalton Forgery earlier in the week, the seven-year-old qualified for HOYS at the Derbyshire Festival of Showing.
Reserve went to the lightweight winner, Chaplin, ridden by Oliver Hood and owned by Mr & Mrs R Wilson and Sue Rawding. The Royal International champion impressed earlier in the day when he gave ride judge, Samantha de Caprio, a very smooth and balanced ride.
The show set by the ride judge rewarded correct schooling and the ability of the horses to listen to the rider. The vast majority of the horses went well, especially those that were placed in the top few.
The two other partnerships represented in the cob championship were Cob-In-Hood, ridden by Jayne Ross, and Master of the House, whom Oliver Hood rode in the heavyweight class earlier in the day. Jayne continued her run of success this week, which included standing reserve hunter champion on the middleweight winner Bloomfield Tetrarch, on Rachel McCourt’s nine-year-old whose soft and open outline presented a wonderful picture.
It was encouraging to note that the horses in the cob classes looked to be in excellent condition and as ever it was a privilege to witness the best cobs in the country.
By Kitty Trice