Day four: Round up
The penultimate day at Horse of the Year Show, held at Birmingham’s Genting Arena NEC and there was not an empty seat in the house. Both the Retail Village and the HOYS Live Zone were packed out with both arenas buzzing throughout the day.
For the showjumping fans, the national riders contested the Speedi-Beet Grade C Championship in the morning. Posting a stylish victory, Kathryn Ellison hailed the biggest win of her career. 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.
Next up was the turn of the International showjumpers for The Thistledown Stakes. Frenchman Titouan Schumacher made his HOYS debut by taking the win riding Oceane De Nantuel. 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 the 15-year-old mare.
Back in with the national showjumpers for the Squibb Group Pony Foxhunter and it was a victorious win for Wiltshire teenager Tahnia Jordan-Jones riding Jumper, barely 48 hours after landing the Blue Chip Pony Newcomers class on Thursday. 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 15 years ago.
Onto the evening performance and the crowd was eager to take their seats for the HOYS Accumulator. After a tough fought competition, it was a joint win for Dutch star Harrie Smolders and Britain’s Mennell Watson. The class sees riders collect points for each fence jumped, with a maximum score of 65. Any combinations finishing on that figure are then separated on time. Harrie, riding Cas 2, and Mennell on Whisper in the Wind, could not be split as they both clocked 49.12 seconds and each collected £5,900 for their efforts. Louise Saywell and Feigtling finished third, posting 65 points in 49.50 seconds, while Phillip Miller and Sussex Caretino were fourth.
Saturday evening saw the final of the Osborne Refrigerators Double Harness Scurry of the Year Championship. The four-day competition drew to a close under the spotlight of the Andrews Bowen International Arena, and it was Dorset’s Nigel Olliffe who 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.
Our Cashel Blue proved his place in front of the HOYS crowds in The Colosso Family Cob of the Year Championship as he took the title for a second year. 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.
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.
Onto the final class of the evening, the event the crowd had been waiting for, the Naylors Equestrian Puissance and the atmosphere was immense in the Andrews Bowen International Arena. With 14 combinations forward, it was Irish rider Padraic Judge aboard Citi Business who powered to victory 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).
Tomorrow will see the 2017 Horse of the Year Show draw to a close, but not before the Prince Philip Cup, the Ripon Select Foods Supreme Horse and the Ruckleigh School Supreme Pony and the Leading Showjumper of the Year are awarded in the Gala Evening Performance. Stay up to date with all of the action at Horse of the Year show at www.hoys.co.uk – and you can catch the live streaming each evening athttp://www.britishequestriansport.tv/