“Thank you so much to HOYS for putting us in that Arena. I was so proud of all the heavies in there!” An ecstatic Virginia Osborne was on cloud nine after riding her mother Marguerite Osborne’s Clydesdale Kinclune Danny Boy to victory in the inaugural Ridden Heavy Horse of the Year Championship on the final day of Horse of the Year Show (HOYS).
The 11-year-old gelding has won at Blair Horse Show three times and also at the Highland Show, but, until this season, competing had been restricted to the Scottish borders close to their home on the edge of the Cairngorms National Park. “This year has been a baptism of fire for him. We wanted the HOYS ticket and went to Three Counties, Norfolk and the New Forest show to try and qualify. We got the very last ticket at the New Forest!” explained Virginia.
Looking for a Clydesdale to ride, Virginia and her mother travelled to the foal show in Northern Ireland and bought Danny as a three-year-old: “He took off out the stable and we just said ‘we’ll have him’ simply because of his action. They are such capable horses with brilliant paces.” Kinclune Danny Boy is by Dillars Cracker out of Peggyslea Bonny and has been entirely home produced.
William Ireland’s eight-year-old Suffolk Eyke Diamond took second place ridden by Richard Telford. By Golden Grandchild out of Eyke Thistle the mare qualified at the Suffolk Breed Show and represented this endangered breed here today in style.
New for this year, the Ridden Heavy Horse of the Year Championship celebrates the indigenous heavy horse breeds as ridden show horses, some of which are now on the endangered or the rare breeds list. The class is for purebreds registered in the main British Stud Books of the Shire, Clydesdale, Suffolk or Percheron Horse Societies.
The Championship was begun to help raise the profile of these breeds and, working alongside British Ridden Heavy Horse Society, highlight their ability to perform on a world class stage showcasing their potential under saddle.
Image credit ES Photography