HOYS overview

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Although we will be looking at successes and news from our region’s competitors, here is the official press release overview of the Show:

Sunday saw the crowning of eleven champions. The final day of the show is an emotional and climatic end to the journey that is HOYS where the dreams and aspirations of amateurs and professionals alike are realised in the Andrews Bowen International Arena in front of capacity crowds. 2011 has been a vintage year for newcomers and old timers, young stars and masters at work.

The beautiful Comberton Clancy, bred by the Hobbs, and Jayne Webber swept the board taking the Blundell Family Riding Horse of the Year and then going on to take the overall Supreme of the Year. This horse certainly looks a worthy successor to Carol Bardo’s Philanderer. Jayne has enjoyed another hugely successful week and these titles will have sealed the deal on yet another great season for her.

Harriet Dennison realised her dream today when she trotted out under the spotlights taking the Supreme Pony of the Year with Crystal Vision. Harriet is no stranger to red rosettes but this was her first Supreme win and the little chestnut mare was a credit to all her connections with a flawless performance in front of judges, Betty & John Peacock.

Sannan Valley Bounce took the Underwood Working Hunter Pony of the Year after a spectacular round ridden by Yorkshire-based Alice McCullagh. The Working Hunter Pony classes are always very popular and draw many fans to the Caldene Arena on Sunday morning, the pressure can be intense but Alice rode with the finesse you would expect from a more senior rider and was the worthy winner.

The final championship to be decided in the Caldene Arena was the Sandal BMW Mini Show Pony of the Year and the children and ponies didn’t disappoint in a hotly-contested title. The Keran Fuge-owned Woodview Ianthe and Abbie Farmer impressed the judges the most, though, to just edge out Barkway Magic Moment and Zara Clark-Jones.

One of the most iconic classes at Horse of the Year Show is the Shire Horse of the Year. Witnessing this historic breed presented in their full regalia during the Gala Evening Performance is something the audience never forget. This year it was the turn of Paul Bedford’s Metheringham Upton Hamlet, the extravagant bay colt revelled in the atmosphere of the Andrews Bowen International Arena and deservedly brought home the honours.

Oakley Hunt West have been in blinding form throughout this year’s show and they deservedly regained their seventh Equimax Pony Club Mounted Games Prince Philip Cup. The Bedfordshire-based branch had already taken the Equimax Cup earlier in the week and they maintained their unbeaten record at HOYS 2011 with a final score of 122. Newcomers Strathearn put up a huge display to finish 12 points adrift with last year’s winners Devon & Somerset and Orkney being the other two teams to make the final round of the competition.

The show jumping on Sunday started with the highly competitive Grade C Championship where Louise Pavitt and the Brendon Stud’s Don VHP Z claimed a title for the second year running, having taken the Six-Year-Old honours in 2010. “He’s grown up a lot since last year. Everything has clicked for him and he just gets on with it,” said Sussex-based Louise. “I didn’t doubt he could perform well in the International Arena after his win last year and a good performance in the Horse & Hound Foxhunter here on Thursday night.”

France’s Julien Epaillard produced a super smooth and speedy round on Commissario to win the Vinopolis Speed Horse of the Year title. It was Julien’s first visit to HOYS and he was delighted to have won in front of the excited crowd. “The atmosphere is just fantastic,” he said. “The show is very well organised and I really hope to come here again.”

On her first attempt at the class, Pony European team-gold medallist Amy Inglis took the Pony Show Jumper of the Year title with Mandy Hall’s Crossword. She took the win as the competition’s pathfinder in both rounds, but was not fazed by having to show her rivals the way. “I tried not to think about it,” she said. “I just went for it without having to really blast round.”

Mexican Jaime Guerra never expected to be crowned HOYS Leading Show Jumper of the Year, but as the only rider to jump a clear round in the jump-off he took the title for the first time with Neil Jones’ Utopias. “I was hoping I’d maybe get a good place, but with Nick Skelton last to go with Big Star, I never thought I’d win it,” said Jaime, who is based in Belgium.

Always a highlight in the entertainment on offer, the crowd favourite Osborne Refrigerators Hurry Scurry also took place tonight. Seven teams contested this high-speed novelty event that sees a scurry driver team up with a Show Jumper and a National Hunt jockey. After much laughter and cheering in the International Arena, the title went the way of Scott Brash, Alison Millman and 2008 Grand National-winning rider Timmy Murphy.

So the 2011 show comes to a close and if you can’t wait to book your tickets for 2012, sign up to the newsletter (www.hoys.co.uk) and you’ll be the first to hear when tickets go on sale.

The Tagg Puissance provided a thrilling finale to the penultimate day of the 2011 Horse of the Year ‘The World’s Most Famous Horse Show” with two riders sharing the honours after clearing a whopping 2.20m (7ft 3in) in the fifth and final round. After four rounds, only four riders remained in the competition and the infamous big red wall was raised for the final time. Only Nottinghamshire’s Joe Clayton, with Nick Ward’s Leonardo, and Scotland’s Douglas Duffin, riding Julie McLellend’s Volcano, were able to clear the huge obstacle bringing down the house as they shared first prize. This was the first time Leonardo, a multiple puissance winner with Joe’s cousin William Whitaker, has won at HOYS.

“It’s only the second time I have ever rode him in a puissance,” said Joe. “He felt confident, I didn’t!” Before tonight, Volcano, a horse who has been successful in Derby classes, had never been in a puissance. “I got a wall to practice over at home, but have never jumped him as big as I did tonight,” said Douglas. “He never said no tonight and bust a gut to make sure he cleared the final round.”

Joe’s success in the Tagg Puissance marked the end of a very successful day for the family. Cousin and British No 1, Michael Whitaker claimed the other two international classes, one of which, The Accumulator, carried valuable rider world ranking points. During the competition, points are awarded for fences jumped clear with the final fence having an optional joker – scoring double points if jumped clear, but knocking off double points if it fell. Riding his own Viking, Michael scored the maximum 65 points available in the quickest time stealing victory from the Thursday’s double winner Nick Skelton, who partnered Big Star this time.

Earlier in the day, Michael surprised himself with a win in the Sky Sports Trophy on Nick Ward’s Wild Rose, a Foxhunter and Newcomers finalist last year at the show. “I wasn’t expecting to win,” he said. “She’s only an eight-year-old and hasn’t got as much experience as some of the others in the class.” However, Michael was the only one of the five through to the jump off who was able to go clear again to secure victory.

Louise Saywell claimed HOYS’ penultimate senior national show jumping final, the Harry Jo & Co Six-Year-Old Championship, with the attractive grey mare Quantas II from a strong field. Twelve made it through to the jump off, but Louise, from Nottinghamshire, outshone her rivals. An economical tour of the arena enabled her to take victory from Robert Whitaker and Asterix EZ by almost two seconds.

British international show jumper Peter Charles has claimed a number of HOYS classes during his career. However, today was his 12-year-old son Harry’s time to shine when he won the 128cm Championship with Murka’s Headmore Little Lightning and finished third and fifth with Murka’s Mathew’s Girl and Murka’s Flinor Songbird. “I was able to test out the route with Songbird,” said Harry. “Then I knew what I had to do with the other two.”

Christie Pritchard was victorious in the 138cm Championship with Bear Me In Mind after a fast eight-pony showdown in the jump off. The eight-year-old pony was sold in the summer, so Christie didn’t think she’d have the ride for this final. However, the new owners asked if she would compete at HOYS and, evidently, it was the right decision.

Hertfordshire’s Sally Mawer claimed her fifth Osborne Refrigerators Double Harness Scurry Championship, this year driving Whistle and Toot. The competition is one of the favourites with the crowds at HOYS and they screamed and cheered as loudly as ever as she drove a fantastically fast round none of her rivals could match

The final class of the afternoon in the Caldene Arena drew wild applause as the first ever winner of the Leeman Family Maxi Cob of the year was crowned. This brand new class went the way of last year’s Cob of the Year, Hallmark IX with rider Simon Reynolds. This joyous news comes just at the right time for Simon who not only lost one of his horses recently but also had been himself involved in a car accident the day before this class. Hopefully the win marks a change of fortune for Simon.

Day three of the Equimax Pony Club Mounted Games for the Prince Philip Cup provided yet more thrills and spills in the Main Arena. Bedfordshire-based Oakley Hunt West have been in unstoppable form at this year’s show and continued their mighty run with a sixth straight victory in the afternoon performance. After tackling events such as the ‘Equimax Litter’ and the ‘Dragon’, they saw off equal runners-up Orkney and Rockwood Harriers by six points. In the evening session Yorkshire’s Rockwood Harriers upped their game to gain their first win of the show with a dramatic performance that saw them shade Strathean by a single point. There’s now all to play for going into the final day!

The third running of the Carrs BMW Lead Rein Pony of Hunter Type of the Year resulted in a tearful triumph for Netherfield Mr Rochester. Allison Evans was overcome with joy as her daughter Hattie saw off fierce competition from another nineteen combinations to take the title ahead of reserve Nantlais Gwerthfawr.

It was the turn of Matthew Cooper to revel in the limelight in the Oggy Oggy Intermediate Show Riding Type this afternoon in the Caldene Arena. The lovely mare Foxy Formula by Crakenthorpe Kartier was true to type and beautifully exhibited. Reserve went to Valantinos Royal Touch and Becky Edwards.

Having come second in last year’s 122cm Show Hunter Pony of the Year, Harriet Dennison thoroughly deserved taking the championship this year on the stunning Crystal Vision. A chestnut mare by Soudley Taliesin, Harriet rode exquisitely presenting the pony perfectly.

The overall Equimax/Eraquell Cob of the Year Championship saw success for Robert Walker with Camilla Neame’s magnificent heavyweight, Starry Night. Not his first success in this class, Robert takes the prestigious title for the fourth time to regain the title held in 2004, 2006 and 2007. Reserve was taken by Tom Cream of the Antartic ridden by Charles Le Moignan.

The sun has set at the LG Arena to close Friday’s Horse of the Year Show. Three international Show Jumping classes, two national Show Jumping classes, two scurry races, a dressage masterclass and a host of Showing classes completed today’s competition.

Jayne Webber made history in the Coloured Horse of the Year Championship sponsored by CHAPS UK this afternoon when she took the title for the fourth year running! 2008 saw her under the spotlights with Red Andes and since 2009 she has been unbeatable with the notorious Humdinger. 2011 was to be no different and this special horse took to the centre stage once again. No other rider has won this championship more than once so four back-to-back wins is an incredible legacy for Jayne and her team.

The crowning of the NPS Baileys Horse Feeds Mountain & Moorland Supreme Pony of the Year was a real highlight to the evening performance and saw the renowned Dartmoor stallion Pumphill Buckthorn take the honours to a delighted crowd who once more got to watch this special pony trot out under the spotlights. This was the first year for this championship and what a pony to start the history books with.

The Kathleen Wood Riding Ponies were campaigning today and the standard was exceptional. Poppy Carter, Harriet Dennison, Poppy Duncalf, Alice Greenwood, Zoe Cutmore and Rebecca Harvey all came forward to the championship but Rebecca clinched it with Broadgrove Showman. No stranger to the red rosette, Rebecca Harvey won the Children’s Riding Pony of the Year in 2008 and looks to be embarking on a very promising career.

A very special Arab Horse Society Purebred Arab of the Year Championship took place in the Andrews Bowen International Arena when Andrea Boyle scooped the award from last year’s champion, Darren Crowe and Silvern Prince. Andrea is one of the most seasoned campaigners, having shown for over 40 years and now competing in her mid-70s, Andrea and her connections will be thrilled to have clinched this title with her own gelding, Maleikero.

The popular SEIB Search for a Star series drew to a close earlier in the day in the Main Arena. Now in its fourteenth year, the competition was designed to give amateur riders and owners an opportunity to compete at HOYS and to identify top class horses and ponies which may otherwise not be given the opportunity to compete at this level. The latest renewal certainly proved no exception and the culmination of six qualifying rounds saw Rockstar take the Championship with Welsh-based rider Paul Isaac. Rockstar came through from the Show Cobs section, whilst the overall reserve, Mettlewood Mr Fahrenheit, qualified for the final from the Riding Horse/Hack section.

There was excitement in the jumping classes with the brand new ‘Five Fence Challenge’, in which fences are raised in each round over a maximum of five rounds and was a huge success with the enthusiastic HOYS crowd in the packed stands. Only Britain’s William Funnell on Billy Grand and Belgium’s Cindy van der Straten riding Twan had jumped clear in the first four rounds to go head-to-head one last time. Both had a fence down last time out, so shared the honours. “This is my first time in Britain and I can’t get over the atmosphere in the arena,” said Cindy. “If all shows over here are like this, I’ll be coming more often.”

The British were pipped to the post in the Dick Turpin Stakes by Belgium’s Dirk Demeersman who used his horse Tymoon Calloo Meerchen’s natural speed to better Irishman Cian O’Connor’s early lead in the one-round competition on Goldex and claim the win. “I’ve been coming to HOYS since it was held at Wembley and it’s always nice to win here,” said Dirk. “Having classes with around 30 in them means everything goes to plan and runs smoothly.”

Emily Ward, previous winner of the 133cm and 143cm Working Hunter of the Year classes at HOYS added a bit of show jumping silverware to her trophy cabinet. Riding her father Nick and Michael Whitaker’s King Mac, she claimed the Blue Chip Feed Balancer Pony Newcomers Championship, holding Darby Ward at bay to finish second. Having won the lower two working hunter height divisions in 2009 and 2010, Emily is going for a hat-trick this year. She is riding Noble Loughnatousa in the 153cm Underwood Working Hunter of the Year on Noble Loughnatousa.

The Young Rider of Great Britain Championship went to Scotland’s Lucy Guild, 19, and her own Titi d’Oase. Lucy beat Jessie Drea and Baloufina, who was bought from Cian O’Connor at HOYS in 2009, with a late charge in the jump-off. Lucy has had an amazing year with this gelding, including winning a team bronze medal at the Young Rider European Championship and of course earning herself the wild card to the international classes here at HOYS.

Bringing the day to the close was our second new international class, the Zinc Management Trophy with a ‘take your own line’ jump off. This turned into a nail-biting jump-off where the in-form Scott Brash and Sam Hutton came within a hundredth of a second of each other. Scott took the title by the skin of his teeth with a masterful round on board Bon Ami. What a climax to the day to have two such up-and-coming riders leading such a distinguished line-up which included Billy Twomey, Kevin Staut and William Funnell.

In the Equimax Pony Club Mounted Games, the prolific Oakley Hunt West have won the Prince Philip Cup three times in the last ten years and they continued their domination of this year’s competition this afternoon. The Bedfordshire-based Pony Club branch have now achieved the impressive feat of winning all five rounds which they’ve contested at the show and they came through today’s opening round with a three point lead over Strathearn. Last year’s winners of the Prince Philip Cup, Devon & Somerset, were in winning form in the evening session, coming through rounds such as the ‘Equimax Litter’ and the ‘Five Flag’ to put them within two points of Oakley in the overall competition.

As ever the Osborne Refrigerators Double Harness Scurry had the crowds cheering in the Andrews Bowen International Arena. Su Ridley’s Prancer & Dancer took the second round of the small section with almost a second to spare over Equilibra Lady & The Tramp and Jeannett Baker-Watts. Darkhorse Fred & Barney landed the spoils in the large version with driver Gareth Roberts to edge out sponsor Jeff Osborne and Zig & Zag by over three second.

Fresh from his European Championship bronze medal, Nick Skelton made an instant splash upon his return to Horse of the Year Show (HOYS) as the international classes got under way for the week. The Warwickshire-based British Number Two made the ideal start to his campaign at the ‘World’s Most Famous Horse Show’ by landing the Grandstand Welcome Stakes with Beverley Widdowson’s Unique from first draw in the jump-off. “Unique’s had five weeks’ holiday and today’s course was a nice one to start off with,” said European bronze medallist Nick. “He’s a nice horse who can be used for all types off classes.”

Nick’s current vein of form was further illustrated when he went on to land the Jump 4 Joy Ltd Trophy, the last international class of the day. Nick’s mount Big Star had previously landed the 6 Year Old Championship at HOYS in 2009 and by taking tonight’s prestigious title which carries world ranking points and contributes towards the Leading Show Jumper of the Year Grand Prix on the final evening of the show, has proved what an elite prospect he is for Nick. World Number 10 Dennis Lynch took the early lead with an impressive round which kept him in that position for another 14 riders. However, Nick utilised all his skill and expertise to slice off 1.65 seconds from this time with a superbly fast clear round.

Guy Williams’ prediction that he would win the Horse & Hound Foxhunter Championship with Andy Doswell’s Djakarta came true tonight as he took the class by two seconds from nine rivals in the thrilling jump-off. The eight-year-old mare has a phenomenal record both nationally and internationally with Guy, making her the favourite to win. “Every show she goes to, she wins a class,” said Guy. “She never touches a fence and goes quickly, even in the first round. The course tonight suited her really well and I was able to spin her back to fences in the jump-off to save even more time.”

Just before the emotional retirement of her reliable speed horse Kanselier, then aged 18, at last year’s HOYS, Ellen Whitaker won the Xerox Special Event Services Cup with him. Stamping her mark on the first day of international show jumping, she reclaimed the class tonight with her relatively new partner Arena UK Lando, who is owned by Norman Olly. “I got him at the beginning of the year,” said Ellen of the chestnut gelding. “I liked everything about him, not just his jumping ability but also his character.”

The showing enthusiasts were out in force for the opening classes in the Andrews Bowen International Arena with the Topham Barnes Hack of the Year sectional classes. The Garrick Surface Coatings Small Hack of the Year was taken by Robert Walker with Royal Engagement. However, it was the first and second from the Stennett Family Large Hack of the Year who took the top spots with overall champion Marquis of Travistock, owned and ridden by John Keen, and Wallaroo Bay and Leon King filling the reserve place.

The PRP Rescue Services M&M WHP of the Year Championship was the talking point where Pumphill Buckthorn was aiming to land back-to-back titles, but had to settle for the reserve spot on the day as Brooksan Kitchener and Sophie Hetherton-Davies put in an elegant display to become the champions.

The second day of the Equimax Pony Club Mounted Games competition saw the conclusion to the Equimax Cup in the afternoon. In another tight and fast-paced round, Bedfordshire based Oakley Hunt West maintained their advantage to lift the trophy by a single point from old rivals and last year’s winners Devon & Somerset. The prestigious Prince Philip Cup kicked off in the evening and Oakley began the first of seven rounds for this prestigious title in a similar vein by taking a four point lead. Only four teams took part in this initial phase and after a particularly dramatic twenty minutes, Devon & Somerset lie in second with Orkney and Rockwood Harriers in joint third.

Essex-based former point-to-point rider Katie Jerram was an apt winner in the SEIB Racehorse to Riding Horse of the Year class over in the Caldene Arena with Night Prayers. In 2010 the pair had taken reserve but twelve months on they went one better to take the title and provide an poignant win for Jerram due to the time it has taken to retrain this former Brian Smart-trained gelding to enable him to continue in this vastly different discipline.

The iconic Cuddy Supreme In-Hand Championship went the way of Parvadean Delight. The Ceri Fell-owned mare saw off competition from 21 horses and ponies across two different height categories to secure what is widely regarded as the ultimate in-hand showing championship.

Celebrations were rife in the Caldene Arena this afternoon where the Brineton Colne Mountain & Moorland Mini Pony of the Year was taken by Newark Balladier for Cheshire-based Victoria Mcdowell, who with handler and producer Julie Templeton was top of the Colne Mountain & Moorland Lead Rein Pony of the Year. Taking a respectful reserve was 2010’s Show Hunter Pony of the Year, Wortley Celebration.

Thursday is the day for the harness championship and Jeff Osborne, who sponsors the HOYS scurry driving championship through his company Osborne Refrigerators, scored his first win in a showing championship by taking the Xerox Special Event Services Harness Champion of the Year. Driving his own black Hackney Hamewith Lochnagar, Jeff proved himself under two judges with his elegant turnout. “I’ve had scurry wins here before, but after 40 years of trying to win at HOYS with hunters, cobs, show horses and hacks, I’ve finally pulled it off in the driving,” said Jeff, who is also contesting the scurry title this week as well.

Eventing superstar Pippa Funnell, a former Horse of the Year Show rosette girl, celebrated her first ever victory at the show by taking the EquestrianClearance.com Senior Newcomers Championship on the Billy Stud and Carol Toliver’s Billy Balou.

“All those years I worked here handing out rosettes, I never thought I’d be receiving a winner’s one,” said twice European Eventing Champion and Rolex Eventing Grand Slam winner Pippa, who celebrates her birthday at the show on Friday. “And I almost got William to ride Billy Balou here because I’ve been so busy eventing I haven’t had a chance to get him indoors.”

The first of the young horse classes at the show, the Seven-Year-Old Championship, was won by Ireland’s Trevor Breen riding Martin and Pascal Coffey’s homebred stallion Oldtown KC. Trevor, who recently relocated from Co Tipperary to Buckinghamshire, was the fastest of three double clears in his jump-off. However, despite it being run over the same course, which had been raised, the Addington Manor Eight-Year-Old final produced no double clears from the three through to the jump-off. After the first two to go both had a stop at the second fence and further fences down, Cornwall’s Sammie Jo Coffin was able to win the class with an eight-fault score on her own Willem de Lux.

Ayrshire’s Aileen Craig recorded her first HOYS win by heading the British Showjumping Amateur Classic with Billy McKenchie’s Quiberon D. Her win came courtesy of a change of route after Ami Measor had taken the earlier lead on Belle Fleur using the same tactic. “It wasn’t in my original plan,” said Aileen. “But a friend told me I had to do it to win the class.”

On her last visit to HOYS as a pony rider, Charlotte Jose, 16, won the Squibb Demolition Pony Foxhunter Championship with her mother Maxine’s Edenside Blue Eyes. “It’s the best way to go out of ponies,” said Charlotte, who is jumping Cappagh Supreme in the Leading Pony Show Jumper of the Year final on Sunday. “It’s still not quite sunk in yet, I am struggling stop myself from crying!”

The second day of the show also saw the start of the hugely popular Equimax Pony Club Mounted Games. The current titleholders of the Equimax Cup, Oakley Hunt West, made a strong start to defending their title by winning both the afternoon and evening rounds of the competition. They came through rounds such as ‘stepping stones dash’ and ‘team relay bending’ to head Devon & Somerset, who have an equally impressive recent record at HOYS, by four points going into the final round of the competition tomorrow afternoon. The Scottish teams of Strathearn and Orkney currently sit in third and fourth respectively. In the other high speed class in the Andrews Bowen International Arena, Kent-based Su Ridley and Prancer & Dancer took round one of the Osborne Refrigerators Double Harness Scurry contest.

The final round of the TopSpec Show Hunter of the Year brought the house down in the Andrews Bowen International Arena with five-year-old Oathills Take The Biscuit taking the title. Owned by Beverley Racecourse Clerk of the Course, Sally Iggulden, he qualified from the Middleweight section of the competition under Danielle Heath and remarkably landed this prestigious title in his novice season.

The ever popular Mountain & Moorland got the show under way in the Caldene Arena. The dedicated crowds flocking to the catch a glimpse of the eight sections leading up to the NPS/Baileys Horse Feeds Mountain & Moorland Ridden Pony of the Year Championship in the spectacular evening performance in the Andrew Bowens International Arena. The overall championship went the way of Sydenham King George ridden by Laura Rowe coming forward from the Welsh D Section. Laura qualified in one of the final qualifiers of the season at the Ponies Association (UK) Summer Championships. Welsh Section A Brynodyn Savannah and Lucy Morris secured the reserve spot.

Welsh-based Brenda Thompson had a memorable time of things in another of the showing highlights of day two. She secured the first two placings in the prestigious Miniature Horse of the Year Champions with both the horses that she had qualified for the entire show. Seven-year-old mare Scott Creek My Key To Fashion, who qualified at Royal Bath & West, won the title with Scott Creek Monarch Red Graffitti taking the reserve position.

Horse of the Year Show: Under The Spotlight by Gillian Newsum also launched this day on the official HOYS trade stand in the Retail Village. The tribute book brings together all the memorable moments from the last sixty-plus shows and all profits from those sold will be donated to Cancer Research UK. It will be available to purchase from the official HOYS shop online after HOYS.

The opening day at Horse of the Year Show was a remarkable start to the week’s action with a host of champions crowned, including both first time winners and household names. Express Eventing was the thrilling new addition to the timetable this year and proved to be the nail-biting final the audience were waiting for. Matthew Wright and If You Want II blazed into the lead repeating the form seen at the qualifiers earlier in the year where he won three of the four. Talking to Matthew afterwards, he described the series as ‘a great new concept for equestrian sport.’ Finishing in second and third were Alex Hua Tian and Harry Meade respectively who rode exceptionally all day to climb the placings and put Matthew under pressure right up to the wire.

Action kicked off in the Caldene Arena with the Small Show Hunter of the Year where fans of Robert Walker were delighted to see him take both Champion and Reserve in the final presenting both Party Time and Golden Tassett. Robert rode with all the style and finesse you would expect from such a distinguished rider to land the honours and what a way to start his HOYS 2011 campaign. Yasmin Cuddy continues to make her name in the sport and rode into third place with Paddy Swan.

The SEIB classes were the usual hub of excitement where amateurs competing at the show got their first experience of the HOYS atmosphere. A series dedicated to giving amateurs a chance to qualify to compete at HOYS and learn from the experience with feedback and guidance from the judges just continues to grow in popularity. Today’s winners were Mr Paul Isaac with Rockstar in the SEIB Search for a Star Cob section, Caroline Hawkins in the Riding Club Show Horse section with Kilcara Diamond and for the Riding Horse/Hack section, Lindsay Needham with Mortomley Twilight Jasper and Zoe Whittle with Mettlewood Mr Fahrenheit. These riders will all go forward to the SEIB Search for a Star Championship on Friday to compete for their chance to ride out under the famous spotlights.

Show jumper and working hunter exhibitor Derek Morton claimed his first ever Horse of the Year Show win by heading the Cuddy Working Hunter of the Year final with June Snedker’s Keep Talking. Staffordshire-based Derek, who will also be competing in the Puissance on Saturday evening on Teddy Bear, said that he was more nervous of competing over David Cole’s beautifully decorated course this morning than anything else.

“I would have definitely had less butterflies if the curtain had opened and I was facing a big red wall,” he said. “I’ve have jumped a lot of clears this year, but also had a lot of seconds. However, this final is the one everyone wants to win and this is the one that really matters.”

In the final class of the afternoon in the Caldene Arena, Utah II gained a memorable back-to back success in the Guy Fawkes III Intermediate Show Hunter of the Year. The Mr and Mrs Underwood-owned gelding again impressed the judges to see off 20 rivals under regular partner Hannah Horton.

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