Qualifying Stories

2018 Qualifying Stories Winner

Foalsyke Little Topper ridden by Hope Fisher and Owned by Julie Fisher

Our treasured Fell stallion Foalsyke Little Topper qualified for Horse of the Year Show at the TSR spring show to the total shock of his 19 year old owner and rider Hope Fisher.  We bought

him nearly 3 years prior and really were not looking for a second pony but I had spotted him for sale on Facebook and he just looked absolutely lovely. A few messages and a phone conversation later I took a risk to purchase him unseen so my girls could have a pony each and crossed everything with the hope that he would be ok.  It was a gamble that totally paid off, he is a complete gent and we fell in love with him on arrival. My daughter was only 16 at the time and he just completely looked after her and her 12 year old sister!  He lives at the bottom of our garden with his best friend in a converted stable and is a real family pony.

We were absolutely devastated when his first season with us was cut short due to lameness, we just couldn’t get to the bottom of it. My daughter and I work full time and look after the ponies between us, I was struggling to cope with the rising vet bills and Hope missed riding him so much. After many frustrating months he finally went off to Newmarket in a last ditch attempt to help him and was diagnosed with a torn Manika tendon.  He had an operation to remove it and recovery was slow, a positive outcome was only 50/50 and he was very fed up.  Topper and I both hated the twice daily walking out and he was particularly grumpy being left at home on his own when his friend went out to shows.

We finally got him back into some regular ridden work and then out showing again at the beginning of this season, Hope cried as they both went in the ring for the first time some 14 months later.  Topper has a really easy life at home just hacking about the lanes and mooching in his paddock, he is rarely schooled as we have nowhere suitable to ride but he loves to go out to competitions and is a real showman.

We were only on the second qualifier of the season when his number was suddenly called out to win!  Hope was completely stunned, I wasn’t even looking at the time, he had gone beautifully but it just came as a complete shock. It was a big class with some very consistent ponies forward but even he went one better to take the championship, it really was a dream come true.  We had a beautiful photo and write up in the Horse and Hound and have kept absolutely everything to look back on.

Whatever the outcome on the day it will be a very emotional trip for a girl and her much loved pony who has had such a rocky pathway, he deserves this so much.  We really thought he would never come back.

Have you qualified for HOYS?

If you’ve qualified for Horse of the Year Show then we want to know all about you and your horse or pony and the journey you have experienced together to gain a place at “The World’s Most Famous Horse Show”. In return for taking part in our Qualifying Stories competition you will be entered for the chance to win lunchtime hospitality for two people at this year’s Show on Wednesday 3rd October 2018. The chosen qualifying story will also be featured in the Official Show programme.

To enter, all you have to do is click on the link to submit your story (max. 350 words) and upload a photo. Please note, you must own the copyright to the pictures you submit, or have permission from the photographer for them to be used on the HOYS website.

Visitors to the HOYS website will be able to vote for their favourite qualifying story. As soon as your story is up on the website, the voting can begin!

Vote for your favourite Qualifying Story

With so many wonderful Qualifying Stories to choose from it is difficult to make your choice, however, by voting for your favourite Qualifying Story you will be helping the entry to get one step closer to winning the Qualifying Stories competition.

Only one vote per email address will be counted. The story with the most votes by Friday 14th September 2018 will win two hospitality tickets for lunch on Wednesday 3rd October 2018 and have their story published in the Official Show programme. To cast your vote click on the link to vote for your favourite story.

Submit your Story

As soon as your story is up on the website, the voting can begin! Terms and conditions apply.


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