HOYS 2018: Horseware Bronze League Championship

Natasha Hewitt launched the 2018 Horse of the Year Show in Birmingham by being crowned Horseware Bronze League Champion. There was no doubting the Doncaster-based rider’s supremacy in the opening class of an eagerly-awaited 70th anniversary show aboard JJS Impressive.

While Natasha admitted that she was struggling to comprehend her success, the early morning audience at the Genting Arena were left in do doubt following a dominant display. Four combinations from 14 starters recorded clear rounds, with Natasha being joined in the jump-off by Lucy Rennie (Parkhill Legacy), Essex’s Katrina Beney (Zoey) and Cambridgeshire’s Alice Ellison (Britney IV).

Natasha was first to go in the jump-off, and impressive pace combined with some decisive turns saw them clock 38.64 seconds and post a time that proved uncatchable.

Lucy went closest, going clear in 41.37 for second, with Katrina taking third place and Alice finishing fourth.

“I can’t quite believe it,” Natasha said. “It was a dream to even qualify. We went all the way down to Essex for a qualifier for here. We got up at three in the morning, and he won that, then we qualified through the semi-final. Everyone else around me was really confident, saying I was going to do well, but because I had never jumped here before I was quite nervous.

“It is quite daunting, especially when you are waiting behind the curtains to go into the arena, but he’s a really good horse and he jumped so well. I can’t imagine it will sink in for a few days. I’ve definitely never done anything like this.”

Photo credit: 1st Class Images