Show jumping, as one might expect, is one of the leading disciplines at the show and wraps up the national season in Britain. Expect to see the nation’s heroes as well as the up and coming stars.
The Birmingham event is also an opportunity to celebrate our Olympic heroes with the legendary Nick Skelton and Big Star taking part in the HOYS finale on Sunday evening. Nick’s team mates John and Michael Whitaker will also be present to compete in the international classes.
The Arbonne Dressage Future Elite Championship, in its fourth year at the show, has had numerous qualifying events throughout the year and Rio heroes Charlotte Dujardin and Carl Hester are expected to be taking part.
For the showing competitors, who have also travelled miles throughout the season to capture the golden tickets, HOYS is the finale of a long season and an atmosphere of excitement prevails. Even the most experienced of competitors still feel their nerves as their horse boxes pull into the NEC’s tightly packed lorry park.
Last year’s horse supreme victor, Jayne Ross, will be hoping for a third win in a row, this time on the lightweight show hunter Time 2 Reflect. Twice a supreme winner at the Royal International Horse Show, Diane Stennett’s nine year old mare finished second in their class behind Robert Walker and Vantage Point last year and will be hoping to go one better for a consecutive hat trick.
Robert Walker will once again take a strong team of horses to the NEC, including the smart lightweight cob Randalstown Rolex. A former supreme winner with the big-winning heavyweight cob So Smart, it would be unwise to rule out Robert from winning a few more titles before the week has finished.
The Hood team, led by father and son Alistair and Oliver, have had a phenomenal season and won the cob and riding horse titles at the RIHS on Our Cashel Blue and Diamonds Are Forever. The latter, who first sprang to prominence when winning the riding horse championship at Windsor in 2013, has been given time to mature and this tactic could pay dividends at the end of season show.