Posted on October 9th, 2017

HOYS17: Diamonds are Forever III reigns Supreme at Horse of the Year Show 2017

Annabel Jenks’ Champion Riding Horse, Diamonds are Forever III, stood Ripon Select Foods Supreme Horse of the Year Champion on the final night of Horse of the Year Show (HOYS).

The unbeaten eight-year-old won the Topham Barnes Riding Horse of the Year Championship earlier in the day with Allister Hood, but the ride was given to Allister’s son Oliver for the Supreme, while Allister kept the ride on last year’s Supreme Champion, Our Cashel Blue.

“I’m over the moon; he’s a superstar of a horse and we’re very lucky to have him,” said a delighted Oliver. “It’s special every time we win and this is my first Supreme, so that makes it extra special.”

Although Allister had the ride here in the Large Riding Horse, Oliver also does a lot of work back at home with the Warmblood gelding.

Reflecting on the winning performance, Oliver said: “I just tried to enjoy him but there was a bit of pressure!” he smiled. “He has big paces that you can use to your strength.”

Allister added: “It’s amazing. I’m thrilled for the whole team and for Olly to have had this opportunity.” It’s been a cracking week for the Hood team with both Diamonds are Forever III and Our Cashel Blue successfully defending their Champion titles from 2016.

Photo: 1st Class Images


Posted on October 9th, 2017

HOYS17: It’s deja vu as Diamonds are Forever does it again

After another stellar performance in the Topham Barnes Riding Horse of the Year, reigning champion Diamonds are Forever III wasn’t ready to give up the Championship title at this year’s Horse of the Year Show (HOYS). The eight-year-old Warmblood owned by Annabel Jenks took the honours after securing the Large Riding Horse section earlier in the day with Norfolk’s Allister Hood.

Fresh from his win on Our Cashel Blue in The Colosso Family Cob of the Year Championship yesterday, Allister said: “He [Diamonds are Forever III] was wonderful in there. He never misses a beat.”

By Diamond Hit, Diamonds are Forever III has been unbeaten in every class for the last two seasons, which Allister said “in this day and age, is quite phenomenal.” He continued: “He just oozes charisma… He draws you to him and then you just want to look at him.”

Small Riding Horse Casino III also successfully defended her title in the Small Riding Horse and went one better this year to stand Reserve Champion with Jayne Ross. The Warmblood mare is by Painted Black and owned by Diane Stennett.

Second in the Large Riding Horse was Vanessa Ramm’s Irish Sports Horse Corbally Lucky Boy with Martin Skelton in the saddle. The 12-year-old qualified at Derbyshire Festival of Showing and was third in this class at HOYS last year.

Patricia Duncan’s Kilnamona Glen stood second in the Small section ridden by Caroline Mackness.

Photo: 1st Class Images


Posted on October 9th, 2017

HOYS17: Our Cashel Blue is at home with the HOYS crowds in The Colosso Family Cob of the Year Championship

Reigning Supreme Horse of the Year and Cob of the Year Champion, Our Cashel Blue, delighted the crowds on the penultimate evening of Horse of the Year Show (HOYS) when he successfully defended The Colosso Family Cob of the Year Champion title, navigated once again by Allister Hood.

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.

“That’s the best he’s ever gone,” said Allister after the Championship. “I felt like we were at one all morning and tonight; he was with me and I was with him.”

There could be something to be said for the enthusiasm of the HOYS audience. “I have to motivate him now,” said Allister who has taken advantage of the end-of-summer stubble fields for Blue to enjoy a regular gallop, and sent him out with the hounds with son Ben to keep him busy. “Unless he’s got a HOYS crowd watching him, it’s boring!”

Blue will now defend his Supreme title in the Ripon Select Foods Supreme Horse of the Year Championship tomorrow evening and Allister fully intends to bring him out again next season. “He always keeps on giving,” said Allister.

Reserve Champion went to the winner of the Heavyweight Cob section, Clare Trebble’s 11-year-old Morrows Marksman ridden by Simon Reynolds. Second to Simon in the Heavyweights was Allister’s son Oliver Hood riding Judy Byford’s Chestnut gelding Master of the House.

Photo: 1st Class images

Posted on October 9th, 2017

HOYS17: Jovian delights the crowds in The Leeman Family Maxi Cob of the Year Championship

Baileys Horse Feeds’ Irish Draught, Jovian, looked every bit the Champion as he took his lap of honour in The Leeman Family Maxi Cob of the Year with producer and trainer Lynn Russell in the saddle.

At just six years old, this was Jovian’s second appearance at Horse of the Year Show (HOYS), having qualified last year for the Ladies Side Saddle Horse of the Year Championship. He has now taken the ultimate accolade as a Maxi Cob.

HOYS has been one of his first big shows this season and Lynn described the win as “fantastic” and “a big surprise”, having hoped he would be placed high up, but not expecting a win.

“He felt lovely in there,” she said. “He was very light and was taking me forward.”

The roan gelding is by Star Kingdom out of Lecarrow Gypse and was bought as an unbroken four-year-old from Ireland. Hayley Sankey rode her own four-year-old grey gelding The Ringmaster into Reserve position, while Xanthe Barker’s Kavanaghs Lord Winchester finished third.

Sponsor Lisha Leeman from Essex presented beautiful sashes to both the winner and all of the runners up in the class, which has been running at HOYS now since 2011.

Photo: 1st Class Images


Posted on October 9th, 2017

HOYS17: Superior Breeders and Leading Sires Honored at Horse of the Year Show 2017

Horse of the Year Show is a showcase for some of the country’s most prized and successful horses and ponies.  It should seem only fitting that HOYS hosts an evening to recognise the breeders and sires that provide showing with future champions.

Introduced in 2012, the HOYS awards series have become an established part of the equestrian calendar and they are now much sought after accolades. The awards encompass the Kellythorpe Leading Breeder and Leading Sire awards as well as the LeMieux La Liga consistency awards. It is an opportunity to reward and recognise the fantastic success of breeders in this country, using a points system for all results in Horse of the Year Show qualifiers.

The Kellythorpe Leading Breeder and Leading Sire awards celebrate the achievements of those who may perhaps not get time in the spotlight but absolutely must have the recognition that they deserve. The awards evening would not be possible without the generosity of the award’s sponsors, Richard and Lisha Leeman and their family. These awards are a privilege to present at HOYS, where people are able to see the final result.

With each year the competition for these awards is stronger, which can only be a reflection of the importance and success of quality breeding programs.

Kellythorpe Leading Breeder Awards winner: Sandy Anderson

Kellythorpe Leading Sire Awards winner: Kilvington Scoundrel

Photo: Julian Portch Photography

Posted on October 9th, 2017

HOYS17: Broadstone Dolce Vita crowned Cuddy Supreme In-Hand Championship

Broadstone Dolce Vita, William Moran and Pearl Underwood’s star mare, was crowned the new Cuddy Supreme In-Hand Champion at Horse of the Year Show (HOYS). The 17-year-old mare now has one of the most prestigious and sought-after titles in the showing world to her name, following a prolific winning ridden career with Suffolk’s Amy Underwood. She’s been with William for the last three years and together they have claimed numerous championship titles.

“I’ve been breeding for 25 years and it’s always been my dream to win the horse section of the Cuddy, let alone the Supreme!” He continued: “When I first saw her [Broadstone Dolce Vita], I thought, that’s good enough to win the Cuddy.”

The Reserve title went to the winner of the Pony section, Iain Almond and Caroline Cochran’s three-year-old Show Hunter Pony Litton Salvador, shown by Stuart Stafford. The pony is by Pickmere Sirocco out of Litton Sapphire.

Widely considered the ultimate in-hand showing championship, the Cuddy is a contest of the champion of champions as each contender has, throughout the season, been named overall Cuddy In-Hand Champion at a major county show.

The top two from the Horse and Pony sections at HOYS go through to contest the overall Championship, which is open to light horses and ponies of all breeds and type.

Photo: 1st Class Images

Posted on October 9th, 2017

HOYS17: National Pony Society/ Snuggy Hoods Working Hunter Pony of the Year Championship

Tinka’s Flash made a triumphant return to claim the National Pony Society/Snuggy Hoods Working Hunter Pony of the Year Championship.  You could hear a pin drop as Friday afternoon’s audience in the Andrews Bowen International Arena waited to hear who would be crowned National Pony Society/Snuggy Hoods Working Hunter Pony of the Year Champion. In the end it was the Intermediate winner, Hannah’s Sloan’s 15-year-old Chestnut gelding, Tinka’s Flash who rose triumphant after a sterling performance throughout the day.

By Croft Tinka’s Lad out of Bellinda, Tinkas Flash is no stranger to HOYS, having won the Intermediate section back in 2013 with Hannah’s brother Stuart. “This is my third season on him,” said Hannah. “It’s a dream come true. He’d never jumped before we got him as a nine-year-old.”

Described as “quirky, but very gentle”, the Chestnut gelding has a very strong track record with numerous Intermediate titles including at the Royal International, in the Desert Orchid and at the Royal Highland Show.

Reserve Champion went to the 133cm section winner, Camilla Lanni’s 12-year-old Welsh Section B Birkinbrook Arabella, by Millcroft Cruga out of Thistledown Miami.

The crowds had been growing throughout the morning in the TopSpec Arena as the four class sections progressed. It was the ponies with the best rounds over the course of rustic fences that went forward to further judging for show and conformation.

Essex-based Polly Eddis’ 14-year-old Connemara gelding Cashel Bay JJ took the 153cm section fresh from his second place in The British Show Pony Society Mountain & Moorland Exc. 143cm Working Hunter Pony of the Year yesterday, with Lucy Eddis in the saddle.

The 143cm section went to Michelle Burnett’s 14-year-old Chestnut gelding Stambrook Maestro ridden by Ella Dalton.

Posted on October 5th, 2017


Rotor blades will be in the skies over RAF Wittering as the historic station hosts iconic Chinook helicopters for a series of exercises

Group Captain Tony Keeling is the Station Commander at RAF Wittering. He said: “Obviously I’m very pleased that RAF Wittering can demonstrate the utility of its airfield by hosting the Chinook Force.”

He continued: “For many, Chinooks will be an unfamiliar noise in our skies. We want to make sure that our nearby equestrian communities feel informed and have an opportunity to get the equipment they need before flying commences in order to maximise their safety.”

The Chinook is an able and versatile support helicopter that can be operated from land or ship in diverse environments. Pilots can spot horse riders at a greater distance and have more time to take avoiding action when they’re wearing high-visibility clothing. Royal Air Force Wittering has obtained a limited supply of day-glow tabards and quarter-sheets for nearby riders to wear so that they’re more visible to aeroplanes and helicopters alike.


RAF branded equipment will be given free of charge on a first-come-first-served basis and riders can call 01780 417470 if they would like some high-vis equestrian gear including quarter sheets, tabards and hatbands.

Unfortunately, the supply of high-vis gear isn’t endless, so priority will be given to registered riding schools and riding for the disabled establishments.

The visiting helicopters are expected to leave RAF Wittering in early November, but the offer of high-vis equipment will remain open as long as stocks last.

Group Captain Keeling concluded: “RAF Wittering is a busy place, we support deployed air operations and train future pilots here. We use the roads and the skies daily, so I’m keen that we reach out to the equestrian community to inform them of a change in operations and help to maximise safety.”

Posted on October 5th, 2017

HOYS17: Talent Seekers inc 7 Year Old Championship

Chloe Winchester described her opening day win at Horse of the Year Show as “what dreams are made of.” Chloe, from Suffolk, triumphed in the Talent Seekers, incorporating the seven-year-old, Championship, with Louise Saywell riding Mac Uwe finishing in second place on the leading seven-year-old.

Chloe’s jump-off time of 37.11 seconds, on the 10-year-old bay mare Sportsfield Our Clare, proved more than a second quicker than Louise, while third place went to Bumble Thomas on Aramis.

“I am absolutely over the moon,” Chloe said. “There was a bit of pressure in terms of going first, so I did as much as I could, and it worked out today. She has been very competitive throughout the summer, and I know if I push her, she will do whatever she can to jump clear. It is just amazing to win here – it’s what dreams are made of. It is such an amazing experience.

“I evented her as a five and 6-year-old, then she had a foal last year and she came back to jumping this year and this where she has ended up. It really is a dream come true. Every question we have asked of her, she has just given that bit more and that bit more.”

It was also a memorable evening for Louise, and reflecting on Mac Uwe’s richly promising display, she said: “He was very good. He jumped a super round. He went in there like a pro and jumped fantastic. He is relatively new to me, and HOYS is completely different to any other indoor, so I am delighted. Before he came here, we had really high hopes for him, and he has just proved it again to why we think that.”

Photo: 1st Class Images

Posted on October 5th, 2017

HOYS17: Beware Chalk Pit in top form to take the SEIB Racehorse to Riding Horse of the Year Championship

There were tears of joy as Ann Leftley’s 13-year-old ex racehorse Beware Chalk Pit took the honours in the SEIB Racehorse to Riding Horse of the Year Championship on day one of Horse of the Year Show (HOYS). ‘Pete’, as he is known at home, won more than £9,500 over his seven year racing career, trained by Jonathan Geake. He ran his last race just two years ago.

The impressive 16.2hh bay gelding is produced by Justine Armstrong-Small and has been ridden by Rebecca Court for the last three seasons.

The combination, who travelled from Essex, are no strangers to HOYS, having also qualified and been placed in both 2015 and 2016. “I always felt he was good enough to win,” said a delighted Rebecca, “It’s a dream come true!”

There will be plenty of time to celebrate before their second appearance at this year’s HOYS in the Topham Barnes Large Riding Horse of the Year on Sunday. After HOYS, Jonathan’s daughter will take on the ride and the pair are looking forward to a new life trying a bit of everything from show jumping to cross country. Helen Newbold rode her own Emperors Jade to second place while Grandeur, ridden by Jo Bates, took third.

Photo: 1st Class Images