David Curtis’ 10-year-old Percheron gelding, Hales Hector, has rounded off his first year as a ridden horse with utter style by claiming The Barber Family British Ridden Heavy Horse of the Year Championship.
Ridden to success by Household Cavalry Corporal of Horse, Jamie Bradbury, the horse known as Tim at home has previously been driven in pairs and tandems by his owner David, and was only broken to ride at the beginning of January this year.
It means the world,” said Jamie, who has ridden him from the start. “He’s very quick to learn and the ridden showing has given him another string to his bow.”
HOYS was only their second indoor outing, having competed at Suffolk, Norfolk, Equifest and a few smaller shows during the year, but this did not deter them. Ride judge John Conifey said the horse “rode absolutely beautifully”.
Jamie, a HOYS first timer himself, said: “It was great to ride in the arena – especially that last bit [the lap of honour]!” He continued: “I was a bit nervous before we went in, making sure he would get the right canter lead.”
In only its second year, the British Ridden Heavy Horse of the Year Championship highlights the very best of the heavy breeds and their ability to perform on a world class stage, showcasing their potential as a true show horse under saddle. It is for purebreds registered with British Studbooks of the Shire, Clydesdale, Suffolk or Percheron Societies.
Wendy Toomer Harlow’s Horseman’s Ace Card flew the flag for the Shire horses coming in second with a delighted Helen Cowley in the saddle. Five-year-old Clydesdale mare Westbank Jessie J took the third place rosette, owned by Jonathon Wilkie and ridden by Kirsty Aird.
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